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What I Wore In Hilton Head

I scored this dress several years back at one of the most intimately small and well-curated vintage shops in town. The satin-textured pleated chiffon fabric combined with its feminine silhouette was what made this dress leap off the rack as soon as I entered the store. Every spring it's the first dress that reemerges from hibernation back into my closet. The lightweight semi-cheer material made it the perfect choice for exploring Hilton Head, South Carolina on an extremely hot day this past spring. I decided to anchor its vintage style with a leopard print calf hair belt and snakeskin peep-toe wedges for a more modernized chic vibe.

Vintage Dress (similar here) // Snakeskin Wedges (similar here) // Leopard Calf Hair Skinny Belt (similar here) // Stripe Clutch (seen here - similar here)


6 Best Perennials To Grow In The Fall

6 Best Potted Perennials To Grow In The Fall

While I may get excited about preparing the interiors of my home for the cozy fall season, what really fills me with glee and sends me into total fall mania, is walking through a nursery during this time of year to pick out my favorite fall foliage to dress up my outdoor space. In every place that I have lived, no matter whether I had an outdoor space or not, I always found a way to make the exterior as seasonally welcoming as the interior by using appropriate decorations - such as hanging a wreath on the front door to placing a cheery autumnal mat at the front door or, flanking the entrance with a couple of vibrant mums.

Gratefully, in my current place, I do have ample outdoor space that I get to dress up this year and I can't wait to get it all done. Given my busy schedule and a terrace where only container gardening is possible, I opt for low maintenance/easy to care plants that pack high visual impact. Not only will these 6 perennials of choice do just that, but they'll also inject a little something 'unexpected' alongside your typical fall garden blooms.

1. Pansies: Are what I call a two-fers because when planted in the fall they will continue to grow and bloom, providing you with eight months of color through the winter into spring.  I found this out last year from one of the guys at my local nursery. To me, that's a win-win. Hardy, full sun, well-draining soil, 1 inch of water per week after initial planting. (Zone 6)

2. RosemaryThis most useful culinary staple is one of those aromatic herbs that makes a beautiful ornamental plant, as well as add contrast to the garden. Full sun, well-drained soil, drought tolerant. (Zones 7-10)

3. Mint: This refreshing herb is one of the easiest non-fussy plants you can grow with very minimal maintenance that easily transfers from garden to kitchen. Perfect for container gardening in order to keep its aggressive nature in check, and will provide an abundance of mint. Prefers cool, moist soil, partial shade, sun. (Zones 3 - 10)

4. Leadplant: I love the unexpected touch of this ground cover. Its starry flowers make it an ideal eye-catching variety to blend in with all of the common autumn colors. Bonus: it blooms twice in the fall (blue flowers with leaves that change to that beautiful autumnal red), and it attracts butterflies. Full sun (makes it spread faster) or shade, drought tolerant, well-draining soil. (Zones 5-9)

5. Thyme: Is another one of the easiest perennials to grow. With its little lavender flowers, it's as lovely as it is fragrant - filling your garden with a delicate aroma amidst the warm hues of the season. Full sun, light well-draining soil,  (Zones 5-9)

6. Mums: Better known as Chrysanthemums. No fall planting would be complete without what I like to think of as the crowning jewel of the season. I love the high impact of this vibrant plant. Hardy, full sun to partial shade, moist, well-draining soil. (Zones 3-9)


A Quick Glance Back At Our Summer 2015

It's hard to believe that summer has flown by so fast. They say time flies when you're having fun - they're not kidding! This summer sure was delightfully fun and very eventful to say the least. It was so pleasurable {probably because I intended for it to be so} that for the first time, I actually feel sad that it ended so quickly. We explored new places, spent more time outdoors, ate at new (to us) restaurants that are now some of our favorite spots - made a few new connections, and savored many dinners al fresco on our terrace. What I'm most grateful for are the fond memories created that I know we'll reminisce about for a long time to come, despite battling this unexpected horrid flu that sprung up on me since our return from vacation this week. I'm hoping reliving our summer through a recap of a few photos will help me feel better.

Time Square Broadway show - An American In Paris
2. An incredibly memorable pre-anniversary broadway show.

3. Time well spent in the outdoors picnicking in Central Park.

 5. Relished many breezy summer afternoons at side walk cafes

6. Enjoyed moments like carefree spontaneous al fresco intimate summer dinners out on the terrace.

7. Rounded out the season with an end of summer vacation aboard Carnival Splendor to New England + Canada. Making stops in:

New York City.One.World.Trade.Center.Freedom.Liberty.Tower
An incredible shot the hubby captured right from our stateroom as we sailed away from Manhattan at dusk.

Boston, MA - where we strolled the streets and explored South Boston, a part of the city that we hadn't ventured around in during our past visits. We dined on some oysters and sipped some wine at one of downtown's favorite seafood/oyster bar spots called Row34.  

Portland, Maine - story related: "has 65 historical lighthouses still standing and spread out along 5,000 miles of coastline, inlets and islands, Maine is commonly referred to as The Lighthouse State. These lighthouses have acted as beacons of light for sailors for hundreds of years, guiding sailors and fishermen safely into harbors along the rocky Maine coastline. Today, lighthouses are an important part of Maine's history."

Halifax, NS, Canada: this small town with a population of 400,000 is mainly a university town that is famous for having the most bars and pubs per capita in North America, but is also home to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic where some of the most significant artifacts and records to Titanic can be found. It is one interesting museum and I would say, a must-visit. Most things to do and see are in their downtown area, which are all reachable on foot. It's a very friendly city as we always have found with all of Canada. It was unusually hot at this time of year (September) with temperatures ranging to 80 degrees+  which we were told was 10 degrees higher than usual. This of course blew me right into Sugah (similar to cold stone here in the states) to grab an ice cream cone.

Saint John New Brunswick, Canada: population of 75,000 and yet is considered the largest city in New Brunswick, it's also known as the Fundy City due to its location on the north shore of the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the Saint John River, as well as being the only city on the bay and home to the world highest tides up to 50 feet high. 

One of the main attractions to visit is the famous Reversing Falls Rapids, where the Bay of Fundy forces the St. John River to reverse direction and flow upstream. An attraction that you may or may not get to experience depending on the time of day you visit as it only happens during high tide or low tide over a 6 hour period. And as you can see, we missed it. :( When there - visit Fallsview Park, it is said to be the best vantage point to see the rapids.

Another pride and joy of the Canadian people in Halifax, is their city market - being the oldest farmer's market dating back to 1876...


Interestingly, not only do they sell poutine fries, but  their McDonald's golden M has a maple leaf in the center.

8.  ...and finally, this book was one of my favorite summer reads.

How about you - what are you grateful for this past summer?


6 Easy Steps To Fall Prep At Home


Yesterday, the hubby and I arrived home from our end of summer vacation. As soon as we stepped out of the taxi at the front of our building, we were greeted by the chilly air that says, 'Autumn is indeed here.' This quickly shifted my mind from the joy of vacation to the excitement of prepping my home for fall - starting with the interior, first. I keep things very simple by following these 6 basic steps to help me swiftly transform my place (aside from introducing seasonal flower arrangements peppered throughout the home) into the perfect stylish autumn space all season long: (1) swap out my light cotton sheets to heavier duvets, (2) change summery pastel colored pillows to snug plush Pillows, (3) bring out the faux fur throws on the foot of the bed and sofa, (4) replace the summer's door wreath to a more appropriate one for fall, (5) accent the space with a few fall accessories, and last but not least, (6) I can't think of a quicker way to bring in the aroma of the season other than candles, like autumn noirJapanese black currant...ahh, feeling all cozied up in here already.
*Top image via


Mozzarella & Tomato Pizza

Mozzarella & Tomato Pizza

One of my most cherished memories and the only after school activity I had in high school and looked forward to almost every day was stopping at the corner pizzeria for a hot slice of $1.25 NY cheesy pizza served on a white flimsy paper plate that oozed with oil, which would inevitably run down my arm as I ate it on my way home. It was truly heaven in my mouth! Recently, to satiate that sudden craving, I decided to make my own simple tasty version at home. It's one of those quick fool-proof no-fuss recipes that is perfect to make and serve on those casual nights when someone wants to stop by or just when having a few girlfriends over.

Mozzarella Basil & Tomato Pizza

Mozzarella Basil & Tomato Pizza

Ingredients {makes 20 small size slices}

2 Whole grain flat bread
1lb. fresh mozzarella cheese log, sliced
Homemade tomato sauce (or one 25oz. jar of store bought tomato sauce)
Handful of fresh basil
2 tomatoes sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 450
Spread the tomato sauce evenly over flat bread.
Arrange the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil evenly over the tomato sauce.
Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake until the cheese is bubbly and the edges are golden brown, 15 minutes.
Cut into individual pieces and serve.

Mozzarella Basil & Tomato Pizza


Back-To-School Shopping


Okay, let's face it, it's been aeons since I've set foot on school grounds and boy, am I grateful for that! I may not have been too thrilled at the thought of having to return to that school environment, but like most, I certainly looked forward to going out with my aunt for the shopping excursion to get new backpacks, notebooks, lots of mock neck tops (I'm particularly in love with this and this other style), crisp slacks and sneakers - all of which I couldn't wait to debut in school. Here's a roundup of what would be in my back-to-school shopping cart.

1. This anchor crested classic maritime pant is a great wardrobe basic staple to pair with sweaters, turtlenecks and blouses. Just imagine how many outfits that can be created with just this one pair of pants.

2. Kate Spade New York mini notebook that's perfect for jotting down "note-to-self" quotes, thoughts and ideas.

3. Nike wedge sneakers that's stylishly chic, yet practical.

4. Cat eye sunglasses - an essential to keep the eyes protected from the sun.

5. Fringe ankle booties are a chic and trendy timeless staple that will never go out of style.

6. Cross your T's stylus and pen - isn't just for writing but manipulates the screen on various devices in sophistication.

7. Lilly Pulitzer large notebook - it's lively style will definitely inspire note-taking in class.

8. Convertible backpack that's functionally stylish.

9. Mint rose lip balm - a definite essential to keep lips moisturized during the dryer months of the season.

Other favorites:


Grateful Moments

Express.70' and fringe bag
1. This look reminds me of how much I need to return to my old color palate back in the 90's. Soothing, yet warm.

At first, I was staunchly holding my ground from getting on board with the idea that Labor Day is the end of summer. Then this past Tuesday when it seemed to have suddenly gotten real dark by 6:30 pm - that's when I reluctantly resolved in my heart to make peace with the thought that fall is imminent. Leaving for vacation this weekend couldn't come at a better time - a perfect way to end summer with a bang and soften my mourning of the loss of entertaining al fresco under twinkly lights on breezy summer nights. Have a great one!

2. What breakfast has been looking like lately.

3. I'm so grateful that I got to enjoy these special moments of spending summer evenings under these lights and unexpectedly spotted this sight of a quarter moon looming right above.

4. That moment when you pick up your head and your eyes land on a beautifully shaped building peeking through the trees in the background.

5. Constant weekly encounters with closed-hearted cliques have taught me this wonderful lesson.


Falling For 70's Inspired Fashion


This upcoming fall season, I'm leaning towards two different style vibes. The sophisticated 70's inspired trend influence and one of my most comfortable fashion uniforms if you will - ladylike earth-tone preppy classics with tailored basics, luxe fabrics and faux fur grounded by an impactful marsala statement lip color. Preferably combined with a subtle touch of bohemian flair here and there. These are some definite key items I'm envisioning in my closet this fall/winter.

1. Sleeveless Blazer Vest (loving this much more affordable style as well)

2. White Flare Jeans (other styles)

3. Cord Denim Shirtdress

4. A-line Corduroy Skirt

5. Suede Crossbody Saddle Bag (also available in black)

6. A Cult Favorite: Studded Kiss Lipstick

7. Ride It Crossbody Bag (a chic affordable alternative to its famous counterpart)

8. Layered Tulip Front Wrap Poncho (On SALE - this chic one makes me feel warm and cozy just by looking at it)

9. Miu Miu Plaid Wool Boucle Tweed Skirt 

10. Nautical High Waist Flare Pants (On SALE; also available in off white and petite + tall)

11. Pointy Toe Ankle Bootie (also available in black)

More favorite picks:


Favorite Links Around The Web

Herbal.Teas.For.Better.Health. Best.Workouts

1. In my book, a shirtdress is the ultimate hassle-free wardrobe staple that makes you look polished in seconds. And this button-front style is no exception.

3. The supple slouchy suede silhouette of this Jeffrey Campbell boot combined with its earth tone color gives it a look that is both trendy and timeless - making them a perfect fall wardrobe addition. Plus, the sale price is one that can't be beat.

5. The perfect fall tote bag to carry the everyday essentials in style.


Labor Day Sales

Labor Day Weekend Sales 2015

Haven't you heard? Labor day sales are upon us already! With an upcoming vacation on the horizon, I got curious at what kind of favorable sweet deals I could score from some of my favorite retailers. Instead of wondering which stores are having which discounts on what dates, I decided to round up a list of the ones I'm most interested in right here below:

Aldo$25 off $75 or $40 off $100 in stores and online now til tonight + free shipping on orders over $70

Anthropologie | an extra 30% off sale items using code: EXTRA30 + 15% off for teachers stores and online now til tonight

Asos | up to 70% sale + extra 10% off sale styles using code YAY10 + free shipping on orders over $40

Banana Republic | 40% off your purchase code BRFALL now til tomorrow + free shipping and returns on orders over $50

Bauble Bar 50-60% off select items + free shipping and returns on all orders til tonight

Club Monaco | an extra 40% off sale and clearance using code NOTOVERYET

Express | an extra 40% off already reduced clearance styles + free shipping on orders $125+

French Connection | 50% all sale items + free shipping with code 50SALE + all orders $150 receive free US ground shipping using code W14SHIP

Gap | 40% off your purchase using code: LABOR + free shipping on orders of $50 til tonight 

J.Crew | 30% off your online order of $125 using code GETSHOPPING now til Wednesday 9/9 + free shipping on orders of $150

J.Crew Factory | 50% off everything til tonight

Kate Spade | an extra 25% off all sale items in stores and online using code DELIGHT now til tonight

LOFT | 30% off select full-price styles + extra 50% off sale styles + free shipping on orders over $125

Madewell | 30% off fall essentials + an extra 30% off all sale styles in stores and online using code YESANDYES + free shipping on all orders

Nasty Galextra 30% off entire sale selection + free shipping on orders over $75

Nordstrom | up to 40% off on sale items now til Sunday 9/13
Old Navy | with everything up to 60% off, plus save an extra 20% off online on top of the 60% off

River Island | 25% off site wide sale using code LABOR2515 + free shipping on orders over $35

Saks Fifth Avenue | up to 75% off + free shipping online and in stores using code FREESHIP
Loving their fall boots sale

Stella & Dot | 50% off when you spend $50 + 5.95 flat rate shipping and free returns

The Limited | up to 60% off select full-price items + $10 off every $50 you spend online using code BONUS + free shipping on orders of $125+

UGG | 30% off all fall fashion

Victoria's Secret | 25% off $100 order, $25 off $150 order, $50 off $250 order using code FALL2015 now til Wednesday 9/9

Some favorite picks from the Labor Day Sales:
*Top image via


Grateful Moments

1. One of our best summer discoveries by far this year.

Now what I want to know is - what is September/Labor Day weekend doing here already? Don't you feel like Summer took a while to get here, but didn't quiet give us the chance to fully embrace it and spend the quality time that we would have liked with it? I'm sure some of us will be softening that blow with a little retail therapy during this labor day weekend sale.

2. The Excitement I felt planting for spring, which feels like yesterday.

3. Have been keeping my summer sunshine bright with this yellow stone pendant in high rotation.

4. Still can't stop feasting my eyes and salivating over this dessert.

5. The best looking handwritten quotes and motivational words I've ever spotted in a juice bar.

On another note: I'm so glad that ABC network and Netflix ironed out their differences and finally released the last season of Revenge. We have been binge watching those episodes, which by the way has my head spinning with all the backstabbing twists of the characters. But really, we all should have a Nolan (aka Gabriel Manan) in our lives. I may not be fully ready for fall, but I certainly am ready for several of my favorite fall shows to come back - starting with the Ladies of London to million dollar listing: Los Angeles. 


Strappy Statement Heels

I always say that even if I were in a wheel chair, you'd still find me in high heels. In fact, I think that's when I would need to ramp up my high heel game so as to help me from slipping into a defeatist mental state. I'm of the belief that in the same way a simple swipe of lipstick can lift a woman's morale and boost her confidence, an elegant pair of statement heels is just as equally important in elevating a woman's confidence - making her feel beautiful. One of my favorite quotes from Christian Louboutin is "shoes transform your body language and attitude. They lift you physically and emotionally." In honor of that, I've rounded up a few favorite strappy heels that I think will not only add an elegant edge to any outfit, but will increase length to your silhouette while making a statement for any upcoming special events or nights out. Plus, the classic styles and colors make the dollars well-spent.

1. Steve Madden Ankle Fringe Sandal (on sale)

2. Vince Camuto Sandals (on sale)

3. Nude Ankle Strap Heels (on sale)

4. Mule Slide Sandal (on sale)

5. Cicci Heel (on sale for a limited time)

6. Betsey Johnson Suede Leather Heel Sandals (also comes in black)

7. Manolo Blahnik Snake Gold Mule Slide (on sale)

8. Colorblocked Pansy Sandals (on sale)

More faves...


10 Fun Facts About Me

...just because it's fun to know a few more tidbits about the person behind the blog.