monday musings.


>> I didn't intend on taking a blog hiatus, but life is funny like that and sometimes it just says to you "hey, live in the moment!". It's been almost a month since I last checked in here so you can probably guess that August has been a crazy month for us. (And no, we did not have two kids in the last three weeks, those two are borrowed.) 

>> After a great weekend in NYC with Lizzie visiting here and here, I headed back to the City to be in my sorority "little sister's" wedding. C flew in about 1 hour before the rehearsal dinner and we were reunited at last (made it 10 weeks!). The weekend was a blast but we were exhausted by the time we got back to New Haven. 

>> Work has been crazy as the summer winds down and everyone gets back on a regular schedule. C and I managed to plan a last minute getaway to Kennebunkport, ME after we snagged a room on Hotel Tonight. We loved our quick trip and had a great stay at an adorable B&B

>> This past weekend we packed up the car and settled in for 7 hours to meet up with C's high school friends at Deep Creek Lake. It was such a FUN trip and I'm so glad everyone was able to come. We rented a big house and filled it with 8 adults, 5 kids under the age of 4, and tons of food and toys. Though the weather was a bit gloomy, we managed to have a blast and enjoyed being all together for once. 

>> Aside from all the travel, our week days have been pretty low key. I'm currently reading this book and then started this (audio) book in the car but had a hard time getting into it. I'm also anxiously awaiting the delivery of this book in a few days. If you're not following her blog, start now.

>> Maria (our wedding photographer and C's high school friend) took some photos of us this weekend to be used as Christmas cards. I had the honor of shooting her family for her and in turn, got a chance to play with a professional camera. Ugh. Wow. Now I know what I'm missing out on! I need this lens stat.

>> Also, quick plug for a few things I'm currently loving (with referral links!): Wantable, Fashion Project, Everlane. Go check them out!

BITE Lip Lab


I first heard about this place from reading Kate's blog and I knew I had to add it to my list next time I was in NYC. The last weekend before C got home, I planned a girls day with my bestie and met her in NYC for some serious shopping including a trip to the Birchbox Store!

We tried to make an appointment about 1 week in advance as advised but they were completely booked (apparently they were just in the news). They recommended that we arrive at the store just after they opened so that we could get our names on the top of the waitlist. From there, you'd have to wait for them to call your cell to let you know a slot opened up. Lucky for us, there is plenty to do in SoHo and we'd already planned to spend some time at Birchbox and do some shopping.

We busied ourselves around SoHo before getting THE CALL a few hours later. Ecstatic, we bolted back over to Prince Street and started the process.

I let my technician know that I was looking for a cooler pink that wasn't too bright so that I could wear it every day, but I didn't want a nude or neutral. She started mixing colors and I was really surprised to see her grabbing browns and purples...the color against the white background looked so off!

She made me a sample and I tried it on. LOVE AT FIRST SITE! It was honestly perfect and JUST what I was looking for. I chose a matte finish because I wanted a big color impact that wouldn't budge.

Since the whole process took about 5-10 minutes, I asked her to create a red for me as well just so that I could try out another color. I loved the red and took down the "formula" in case I go back. My friend made a REALLY pretty neutral color that I totally want to steal! Lizzie, send me that formula!

After you get your color down, you pick a scent and then the colors are melted together right before your eyes! The formula is poured into a mold, cooled, and placed in the tube. It's really amazing to watch the whole thing!

 I was so impressed with the whole process and would definitely go back next time I'm in NYC. Lipstick and nail polish are my favorite "accessories" and I love being able to experiment. The color that was made for me was perfect but I NEVER would have picked it up in the store because it looks kind of purply brown. But on my lips, it's amazing.

Add this place to your NYC bucket list, ladies!

the birchbox store!


Whooooa my goodness! Heaven on earth! When I heard (and saw all over Instagram) that Birchbox was opening a store, I just about lost it. When I found out that you could build your OWN Birchbox, I was in awe. When I read that you could get your nails, hair, and makeup done, it was love. 

The store is located in precious SoHo and has the most adorable store front. Like I actually wish the front of my home would look like this. 

Inside, it's a glorious mecca of beauty products as well as jewelry and other "lifestyle" items. They carry many of the products sold on the site and everything is test-able. Amazing. They even have little counters where you can do your brows by testing all the different brow products. 

The store is organized by product type instead of brand so that you can easily compare the same product from different brands (lipstick, eye shadow, moisturizer etc.). It's such a neat idea and definitely handy since I'm constantly comparing tons of products to find the best one.

In the back, you can build your own Birchbox from a curated selection of samples. For $15, you get to pick a sample from 5 different categories and create a custom box. Seriously so cool. I finally got a tiny pot of that Egyptian Magic that I've been dying to try.

Downstairs there's a selection of men's products, nail polish, and the beauty bar! $10 for a quick manicure? It doesn't get any better than that! 

You can use your points in the store and your purchases are linked to your account. And if you haven't signed up for Birchbox yet, click here and make it happen asap...because you're missing out! (I'd be forever grateful if you used my referral link!)

austin eats | part 2


The wait is over, part two is here! Did you get a chance to check out part one?

We stuffed ourselves to the brim at Olivia after a recommendation from a trusted friend. Classic, yummy brunch food with a twist. I mean, do you see those eggs? They were served over the most delicious french fries! And yes, we did order pancakes as well. But our eyes were bigger than our stomachs.

A HUGE thank you to Erica and Tyler for picking out this place and for our sweet wedding gift to eat here! Olive & June is so cute with adorable outdoor seating and a great dining room. The food was great right down to the drinks. We had a lovely date night and even ended up trying another restaurant owned by the same group, The Backspace, the following night.

Two words. Butter coffee. Yes. I've mentioned it on this blog before but this place makes it and dang, it's good! The idea is that the healthy fats from the butter, MCT oil (or coconut oil) blended with coffee make a well balanced breakfast. It's Paleo inspired and they serve a variety of meals that are also Paleo. It's such a fun place to grab a coffee and start your day!

Do I really need to say anything about this place? Meat. BBQ. Meat. Beer. Meat. Texas. 'Nuff said.

monday musings.


>> After another crazy week last week (I think I had dinner plans every night), I was planning to have a lazy weekend but it turned into quite a busy one!

>> I made this pizza from my favorite blog for some friends on Thursday night and it was a big hit. It's SO easy that I'll definitely be making it a few more times. PS Did you know she's releasing a cookbook in a month??? Can.not.wait.

>> Friday evening was spent attending a yoga class for one (cool but no cheating allowed...), finishing up Season 2 of OITNB (omg V), and one too many glasses of whiskey. I definitely paid for it on Saturday morning. Ouch!

>> I loved Saturday. I got coffee with my longest running friend and was asked to be a bridesmaid in her wedding! I'm so freaking excited and cannot wait for the big day. In the meantime, being a bridesmaid is the best (especially when you've already planned a wedding) because I have all these fun ideas stocked up and can't wait to share them. So good.

>> After an impromptu mani/pedi with my mom and a bang trim complete with a temporary purple streak (Katherine you rock my world!), I crawled onto my couch around 5pm with a container of Thai food and some Advil. #rough

>> Sunday though. Sunday was the BEST. I caught a train into the city (NYC) to meet up with Lizzie and hit up a few hotspots that I'd had on my list. First off was the Birchbox store which is out of this world (see picture above). More on this to come because, yes, you MUST go. We also managed to get last minute appointments at the Bite Lip Lap. A full post to come on this as well. We had amazing egg sandwiches and coffee at Local, as well as a delicious dinner at Fig & Olive before I caught a train home. Whew!

>> It's back to the grind this week before I head back into the city for my Little's wedding this weekend! I'm pretty sure it's going to be one of the highlights of August.

{featured friday} salt shoppe


I find it pretty amazing that this is my first time featuring an Etsy shop here. I freaking LOVE Etsy. Anything you could ever dream of can be found there. I purchased all kinds of things for my wedding and I've even purchased that fancy elastic stuff to make those hair ties that are all the rage...that's right, you can make about 100 of your own for like $10. Secret's out people! I even applied to WORK at Etsy (based in Brooklyn) when we moved back to the East Coast.

I've been searching for a leather clutch/pouch for some time now. Every popular brand is making them these days but they are so dang expensive. The main reason why I wanted one was because I have a work/laptop bag and when I run errands during the day or run our for lunch, I don't want to carry the whole bag around. I needed an easy, simple holder for my wallet/keys/phone. I also wanted said pouch to double as an adorable evening clutch for weddings and such. 

It didn't take long before I'd stumbled upon Salt Shoppe. First of all, word of advice to Etsy seller's, invest a little time in your brand. If your shop is a hot mess, you'll lose me in about 2 second flat. But alas, the Salt Shoppe was ADORABLE, clean, and simple. I was hooked immediately. After browsing through her expertly curated, affordable shop, I knew I'd found my match. I scooped up the perfect little clutch (pictured above) and it arrived today (super speedy!). Do you see that hot pink zipper? I mean...come ON! Taylor nailed it. I basically want one of everything in her shop. I love that she's making classic clutches and totes, inspired by the sea and the Bible. I also love that her prices are spot on and that her shipping is lightening fast. 

I'm, of course, following her blog and her insta. Again, perfection. 

Thanks for the perfect clutch, Taylor! I can't wait to make another purchase! 

{featured friday} highlights some of my favorite blogs, shops, and websites that I want to share with all of you! These are things that consistently blow me away with amazing content or products and I know you’ll fall in love with them too!
© ALESSANDRA MARIE • Theme by Maira G.