[the photograph online {left} versus how they look in person {right}]

I’ve been keeping tabs these sky high black booties by Steve Madden from Piperlime for the past month or so and my patience has paid off because they just went on sale, heck yes. They look trés vampy in the pic but I swear they’re more sophisticated vixen than sultry streetwalker. The sole isn’t quite so shiny as it is in the photograph and the material contrasts against the suede nicely. I’m so excited to wear them this weekend, I have a couple ideas brewing… booties are so versatile, they’re my favorite trend goin right now.

Just a few ideas:

1. Urban Outfitters Silence & Noise Boyfriend Blazer $78

2. Forever 21 Fab Racerback Tank $3.50

3. J.Crew Sequin Mesh Ball Skirt $128

4. J.Crew Couplet Shimmer Dress $198

5. Forever 21 Silk Bow Dress $26.90

6. Trina Turk Marl Cardigan $138.99

7. James Jeans Twiggy Five Pocket Legging $89.99

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On this Veterans Day I’m very thankful for two things: airplanes and our soldiers. Sending love to my grandpap Eddy Esposito who served in World War II and my great uncle Robert Morasco, a member of the Army 10th Mountain Division who was killed in action in Italy during World War II. Thank you to our brave soldiers who courageously fight for our freedom every single day and enable us to live in the best country in the world.

I’m also grateful for planes and, in particular, Southwest airlines. Southwest made it a breeze to fly home for a quick trip at a price that didn’t break my [fragile] bank. While waiting for my flight, Southwest offered postcards for people to write a message to our troops.

Let freedom ring.

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[ this picture makes me : ) ]

Happy Wednesday!


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[urban outfitters pendleton plaid weekender bag, $198]

Pretty luggage makes traveling so much more fun, don’t you think? With the holidays just around the corner, people are traveling now more than any other time of the year to reunite with loved ones. This season make a statement with your suitcase and sport one with an eye-catching print and luxe details. In the spirit of stylish jetsetting, here are a few pieces of luggage that I’d happily cart on any plane, train, or automobile.

[diane von furstenberg city bag, orig. $200, now $79.970]

[fred perry weekend bag, $94]

[cole haan wythe aviator duffel, $476]


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[princess of pale]

{ clockwise from top: cetaphil gentle skin cleanser, ~h20+ seacurrents moisture boosting body balm, neutrogena original hand cream, eurcerin plus intensive repair body creme, aveda tourmaline charged radiance masque }

This weekend was a chilly reminder that winter is indeed on it’s way….[sigh]. The wintry preview prompted me to revamp my skincare routine to prep for the temperature drop on the horizon. Winter can wreak havoc on your skin, zapping it of essential moisture and leaving it feeling dry, dull, and oh-so-blah. This year I’m determined to keep my skin soft, smooth, and glowing, by starting [and sticking to] a skincare regimen for the winter and beyond. I’m trying several new products and I’ll let you know which ones I recommend for low-maintenance, luminous skin. After seeing the damage tanning can do to skin on people mere years older than me, I made the long overdue decision to nix tanning beds for good. I’ll miss having a tan but I’d rather be pale and naturally radiant than weathered and woefully wrinkly [... shudder].

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It was a cold, windy, rainy night here in Chicago – the perfect weather to watch some Real Housewives, catch up on magazines, and bake a batch of no-fuss brownies. Good thing I always keep a box of brownie mix in the pantry for times like this. One box of Jiffy fudge brownie mix, a handful of marshmallows, some mini milk-chocolate chips, and a dash of Reese’s pieces [mini for baking] later I had a plate of my kitchen-sink brownies. And, now my entire apartment smells like velvety chocolate, one of the upsides of living in a small space.

Kitchen-Sink Brownies

  • 1 box Jiffy fudge brownie mix [makes enough brownies for 2-3 people]
  • per box instructions: 1 egg + 1 tbsp water + 2 tbsp oil
  • handful of mini marshmallows, plus reserve handful to sprinkle on top towards the end
  • handful of Reese’s pieces [the mini kind you find in the baking aisle]
  • handful of mini milk-chocolate chips*

*as the name of the brownie implies, add whatever sweet ingredients you have. no need for a trip to the grocery store on a night like this.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Pour into greased mini loaf pan [Jiffy says to use a 9"x 5" loaf pan but mine was even smaller and it turned out fine]. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Sprinkle mini-marshmallows on top and broil for 3-4 minutes until marshmallows are nicely toasted. Let cool completely. Here’s a tip I learned – if you dip a knife in cool water it makes it so much easier to cut.

[All that's missing? A glass of milk. On my nails: Revlon Minted layered with Essie Overnight.]


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My love affair with bags began in grade school. Case in point, my favorite part of back-to-school shopping wasn’t the new pencils or even new shoes [although that was a close second], no, it was the part where I picked out a new backpack. My parents couldn’t understand why I was so fixated by backpacks. In their eyes it was just a sack you store your books in, but to me it was oh-so much more. I campaigned for a fugly black leather backpack one year, a hunter green L.L. Bean another, an embroidered Notre Dame one, and when North Face first came out with pink backpacks you bet I was all over it… *sigh* I could go on. This isn’t normal, right? I’m certain experts would classify this as early-onset purse addiction.

My parents supported my obsession reluctantly but willingly. They saw my love for school accessories and assumed it translated into a love for schoolwork… and there was definitely some truth in that. In eighth grade my mom finally put her foot down and said, no more, and I begrudgingly obliged… but like an unstoppable rebel force [thank you meet the parents] my childhood addiction found it’s grownup counterpart: the purse.

From clutches to cross-bodies to carryalls, the right bag can transform an outfit from casually cool to seriously chic. The only problem? Choosing which essentials make the cut from purse to purse. Here are the eight staples that I toss in my tote each time I switch it up.

1. this ralph lauren ralph girl rollerball [$18] is the only perfume I wear. it’s perfect for a quick swipe when you’re running out the door and the delicious fragrance is subtle yet feminine.

2. rosebud salve [$8] this little compact is worth it’s weight in gold. you can use it for everything, from dry skin to blisters, and i’ve had the same tub for three years! bonus, this everyday balm has a light rose scent.

3. mary kay timewise age-fighting eye cream [$26] i love how silky smooth this light cream goes on. it’s barely-there texture is surprisingly moisturizing. your eyes will thank you after a long night on the town.

4. tide to go [$13.50 for a pack of 6] portable stain remover, enough said.

5. neutrogena hand cream [$4.50] i slather this on my hands as often as i remember, not only because it feels like a mini massage, but it’s über-important to take care of your hands. did you know the skin on your hands ages quicker than on your face -and- hands are exposed to the elements more than any other part of your body? keep those babies moisturized.

6. ipod nano [5th generation, $120] always and forever an apple girl, i love how sleek this little gadget looks and feels. it’s about the size of two credit cards stuck together, holds all my music, and has a radio. love.

7. band-aid friction block [$7.50] enter the lifesaver in a stick: it prevents blisters and enables allover happiness. i no longer need to tote around band-aids when my poor heels fall victim to my sky-high stilettos.

8. mor body souffle in sorbet [$24] this australian based cosmetics company makes perfectly luxurious body lotion with a soft coconut scent.

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Some days you need a little bit of comfort food and today was one of those days. I found this simple and yummy recipe for the classic staple egg salad. This sandwich will forever remind me of Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. Each Tuesday, Mitch would faithfully bring Morrie his favorite sandwich, egg salad of course. Morrie would immediately dig in and speak with mouthfuls of the stuff while bits of it spewed from his lips. He made no effort to contain his energetic zeal. I love this small showcase of Morrie’s passionate attitude. He squeezed the life out of everything he did and enjoyed it to the fullest, whether it was eating a sandwich or teaching sociology to a classroom full of college kids. If you’re looking for a good book that will warm your heart, give Tuesdays with Morrie a whirl.

Morrie’s Egg Salad

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt [or use mayonnaise if you prefer the flavor]
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Palmful of chopped chives
  • Handful of spinach
  • 2 piece of whole grain bread, toasted

Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so – long enough to stop the cooking. Crack and peel each egg, place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the yogurt, a couple generous pinches of salt and pepper, now mash with a fork. Stir in the chives. Place a scoop of egg salad on bed of spinach on toast and there you have it!

[recipe adapted from 101 cookbooks]


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We’ve been so very lucky with the weather this fall. It’s been wonderful to stroll outside and soak it in, all while fending off the impending doom of winter for another day. We’ve had an October full of gorgeous, bright, sunny days with just the right amount of chill in the air. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I won’t have to bundle up for Halloween festivities. Temperature for Saturday looks like highs in the low 60s and partly sunny, perfect for a night out on the town.

I love the bright bursts of color dotted throughout the trees in my hometown. The country air is sweet and the storybook views are breathtaking.

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Halloween, one of my favorite days of the year, is only four days away. This year I’m dressing up as Sloane Peterson from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, white pleather jacket and all [in case you need a visual, check this out]. In honor of Mr. Rooney ["ROOONEY!"], I decided to whip up some coconut macaroons, a.k.a. macarooneys. These crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside coconutty wonders were the perfect light bite to satisfy my sweet tooth. Although they look pretty fancy, don’t be deterred, they were a snap to make.

Edward Macarooneys

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • one 14-ounce bag sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees. In a small saucepan, bring sugar, cold water, corn syrup, and salt to a boil over medium-high het, stirring to dissovle the sugar.

In a medium bowl, combine the syrup with the bag of shredded coconut and let cool. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg whites and vanilla until foamy and thick; stir into the coconut mixture. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto each of 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until golden [about 15 minutes], switching the pans halfway through. Let cool completely on racks.

[Recipe courtesy of Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine]

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