Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day outfit

I can't necessarily say I am celebrating Labor Day this year... not sure it would catch on here in Dublin. But regardless, I can still join in on the blog and celebrate the end of the amazing summer we had.

What is labor day without a pop of red and a little striped number (which let me add, is only $27!)?

Laura and I are head to the Ultimate Girls Day out event here in Dublin this weekend. It is a 3-day event that promises to be filled with fashion, beauty, and pampering. Sounds just about right!

Have a fabulous last weekend of August and Happy Labor Day and 3-day weekend to you luckies in the US!

Linked with Long Distance Loving and Style Elixir

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I am back with another rendition of Pinsday, aka another round up of my favorite pins lately!
blush pink nails + gold accessories
(unknown source)

lovely 'small space' kitchen

eat seasonally kitchen print

fashionable stripes & statement belt

inspiration quote: the future belongs to those who believe

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lazy weekend mornings

Sometimes we are absolute go-getters on the weekends. Other times, our weekends look like this:

This past weekend was pretty much on-the-go, but this weekend I am envisioning something that looks a lot like this:
striped pants // fragrance // mug // top // facial treatment // cleanser // blanket // nail polish

Sometimes you just need a lazy weekend morning.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back to School accessories

It's Friday again! Always a good day.

I have seen so many kiddos heading off to school on Instagram and Facebook this past week. Does it ever make you want to go back? Maybe not to Junior High- blah! But maybe college... for a chance to do it all over?

I put together a little inspiration board for back to school wear and accessories in case you want to reminisce with me. :)
If only I rocked cool accessories like these... I obviously would have done much better on tests!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend ahead of you- filled with lots of back to school shopping!

Linked with Long Distance Loving and Style Elixir

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Trip to Italy, part 3: Cinque Terre

I am wrapping up our trip to Italy with our stay in Cinque Terre. (Here are our adventures in Rome. and Florence if you missed those!)

Cinque Terre was gorgeous! Just as picturesque as the photos you can find online.
At the end of our stay in Florence, we had a tour booked for a full day hiking trek through Cinque Terre.

The tour worked out perfectly for us since we planned on staying the next two nights in Cinque Terre. The tour left from Florence's main train station and we were able to bring our luggage with us and keep in on the bus for the day.
The bus took us to the village of Manarola, where we began our hike. We hiked north through four of the five villages of Cinque Terre: Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso. From there, we took a boat down to Riomaggiore, the southern most village of Cinque Terre.
Looking back at Corniglia
Village of Vernazza

We stayed in Manarola and Monterossa for one night each, following the full day hiking tour.

Our day in Monterosso was spent at the beach under these lovely umbrellas. Some of the beach space is free, while others you can rent a chair, umbrella and a changing cabin. We opted for Bagni Eden Beach Club and it was €16 for the two of us.

Beautiful beaches of Monterosso

Sunset stroll through Monterosso

Marina Piccolo, Manarolo: Delicious and right on the water! Reservations recommended.
L'Ancora della Tortuga, Monterosso: Views & setting on the upstairs terrace are amazing! Definitely make reservations.
Il Porticciolo, Vernazza: We indulged in a little gelato after our long hike. It was delicious! And they had cinnamon- my favorite!

Hotel Ca d'Andrean, Manarola: Highly recommended. Spacious rooms and a large balcony with ocean and village views.
Hotel Pasquale, Monterosso: Also definitely recommend. Only a couple steps from the beach and every room has an ocean view.

On Milan:
We actually ended our trip (and flew out) of Milan. But to be honest, Milan wasn't nearly as eventful as Rome, Florence or Cinque Terre. I think by the time we got there, we were less concerned with hitting all the 'must-see' spots and being on a schedule. Instead, we spent our time shopping, wandering the city and enjoying aperitivo by the canal: Navigli District.

I am happy to give more detailed recommendations or reviews of any of the cities we went to! Send me an email anytime- I'm happy to help!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fall Layers

As I was perusing through Pinterest, which I often find myself doing... I came across this lovely outfit.
image via

It made me envision fall (which seems to be right around the corner for us here in Dublin) and inspired this fall layers post.
 crew neck sweater // polka dot shirt // bar necklace // distressed denim // military coat

I am definitely loving navy and yellow together, with a touch of gold.

Have a lovely weekend!

Linked with Long Distance Loving

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Trip to Italy, part 2: Florence

I am recapping our trip to Italy we took at the end of June/beginning of July. You can see our adventures in Rome here. Next week I will touch on Cinque Terre.

Of all the places we traveled in Italy, I think Florence was my favorite! Maybe because it was a nice change from the city life of Rome or because it reminded me a bit of home, the wine country area of Sonoma in California.
We took ItaliaRail from Rome to Florence. It took about 1.5 hours and very reasonably priced. I definitely recommend traveling via train in Italy. So convenient! We opted for 1st class which gave us a bit more room and beverage service.

We stayed directly in the city center of Florence, right next to the Duomo. While it may have been a little busier than somewhere outside the city, we were close to everything: the Arno River and Ponte Vecchio Bridge, the famous galleries and museums and the main shopping district and restaurant areas.
I took this shot from the Uffizi Museum. This museum is home to several pieces from Leonardi da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. Definitely worth a visit, for the artwork or the views!

One of the days in Florence, we took a full-day tour of the Best of Tuscany. I recommend both a trip to countryside of Tuscany and the tour group we went with: Walkabout Florence. The tour took us to Siena, a Chianti vineyard for a tasting, tour and lunch, San Gimignano and Pisa.
I found Florence to be very cultural. There were so many options for museums and galleries. You could really focus your entire stay in Florence trying to see them all.

The city is gorgeous regardless. We walked around and spent much of our time by the Arno River.
Make sure you head to the riverside at sunset, the colors are absolutely breathtaking!
Here's a picture I captured with my iphone.

While Florence is more known for its art & history over its food, we found a couple of amazing places:

Gusta Pizza (By far the best pizza I have ever had! Great spot for lunch.)
Trattoria 4 Leoni (A must visit. Excellent food and wine! We celebrated the bird's birthday here.)
Baldovino (Lovely atmosphere and excellent food! It is also right next to Piazza Santa Croce.)

Also worth noting is the San Lorenzo Market. It's a large outdoor walking market very close to city center. My favorite part was the indoor part, San Lorenzo Mercato Centrale. If you head to the market, make sure to take a stroll inside the lovely Mercato. It's full of wines, cheese and other delicious temptations.

If you have any specific questions about Florence, feel free to shoot me an email. I am happy to help!

All photos taken by me. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Creating the perfect cheese board

I am a huge fan of throwing, attending and/or creating a wine + cheese party. I think I love the social aspect as much as I love all the tasty nibbles and sips.

In fact, we are having some friends over next week for this very reason.

Here's are the elements I think constitutes as a well-rounded & perfect cheese board.

rustic crackers // cheese markers // gourmet almonds // cheese board
square ramekin // cheese knives // honey // jam // miniature spoons

Just add cheese! My favorite varieties include a sharp cheddar, a blue or gorgonzola, brie (my favorite!) and a goat's cheese. A good mix of flavors and textures.

What is your favorite type of themed party?

Images: 1 (unknown) // 2  // 3 // 4 (unknown)
Linked with Long Distance Loving

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book review: Lessons from Madame Chic

I never used to be the reading type. In school, I despised reading. Mostly because I would fall asleep halfway through a sentence and end up reading that sentence 10 times before moving on.

But lately, I'm constantly on the look out for a new read. I love a good memoir, a summer chic 'flick,' and a book I finish that truly changes me.
Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I learned While Living in Paris did just that.

This book touches on so many aspects of life, from style to food to culture. It made me think about my own life and want to live a more fulfilling, respectable life.

• One of the things we've made more a habit to do over here already is eating without the presence of tv, phones, etc. A little background music and some good old fashion conversation is worth being disconnected for 30+ minutes.

• My closet and shopping habits have also taken a turn for the better. I love shopping as much as the next blogger girl, but what the book talks about is quality over quantity. She goes into more detail about "never having anything to wear"- which is something I often say as I stare into my overflowing closet. Overall, she recommends a minimal wardrobe with quality, stylish pieces that can be mixed + matched throughout the week.
unknown source

• And the last piece I want to touch on is making everyday a special occasion. I have always been a 'saver,' meaning I always want to save my best outfits, our wedding china and new purchases for a special occasions and special guests. But something I hadn't thought about is that my husband and those I see most often are the most special. I am slowly transitioning into this one (as I hesitantly remove new tags from gifts I received months ago)! Eek!

The author also has a blog called The Daily Connoisseur, consisting of videos and excerpts from her fabulous book.

Do you have any good book recommendations to share??

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Trip to Italy: Rome

After our amazing trip to Italy, I wanted to do a recap post of our adventures.

Our two week trip to Italy started in Rome. Absolutely gorgeous!

We stayed in an apartment in the heart of Rome. We were walking distance from most of the major sites. Even if a fairly long walk, it was so nice to explore & Rome the city.
Apartment on Via Tacito

The first day we did a walking tour of ancient Rome. This tour led us to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.
 Colosseum (interior view)

Roman Forum

Trevi Fountain


The nice part about being part of the tour group (besides all the information and knowledge we gained from the guide) was skipping all the entry lines.

The next day we walked to St. Peter's Square- the place everyone waited when the new pope was being elected. That evening we did another walking tour; this time visiting the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.
View of Rome from the Vatican Museum

Here were some of the delicious places we dined while in Rome:

Palazzaccio (Delicious, open late, and so friendly and accommodating.)
Ristorante Quirino (The food and the front patio were both lovely.)
Antica Enoteca (Great spot for lunch. Close to the major shopping areas and a hidden gem in the area.)
Grazia & Graziella (I loved the food and the interior decor. And the bonus is the after dinner limoncello drink.)

Grom (We went to the one in the Piazza Navona. It was one of my favorites of the trip!)
Gelateria Pasticceria (Right next to Trevi Fountain. Gelato is delicious and they also have a homemade cannoli bar!)

I will also get posts up of the Tuscany region, Cinque Terre and Milan.

Let me know if you're headed to Italy, I would be happy to help and offer up our experience and recommendations!

All photos taken by me (or the bird).

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer shorts style

Its Friday! WooHoo!

We are still getting a bit of sun here in Dublin, with spatters of rain throughout the day. But I'm not complaining; we'll take all the sun we can get!

I am linking up with Long Distance Loving for some outfit inspiration: shorts style. Here's my take on a good summer transition look:
boatneck tee // sneakers // ball cap // cut-off denim shorts

The bird and I are headed up to Belfast in Northern Ireland today for a little road trip. It's a holiday here on Monday, so we are taking advantage of the long weekend.

Have a fabulous weekend!