Closet Remix: Summer to Fall

As is customary on most Monday holidays, I spent the morning in my pajamas and played in my closet. It was the perfect day to assess what pieces will carry me into fall as the temperature drops without needing to completely re-up on stylish components.

Mix & match your favorites for ultimate style this season.
Mix & match your favorites for ultimate style this season. (Credit.)

Keep reading for five fall looks using things you loved to wear last season!

Continue reading Closet Remix: Summer to Fall

7 Ways To Wear F/W 2014

With September on the horizon, NYFW is rapidly approaching. In case you’re like me and don’t have front row seats to the Céline show, there are plenty of ways to get inspired and own the looks that will be taking over the runway this season.

This & more luxe goodness ahead!
This & more luxe goodness ahead!

Keep reading for seven trends that are going to be huge this season!

Continue reading 7 Ways To Wear F/W 2014

Fall Deals & Steals

Are you eating like this to maximize your budget? Stop. Just stop it right now.
Are you eating like this to maximize your budget? Stop. Just stop it right now…

“When I first moved to New York and I was totally broke, sometimes I would buy Vogue instead of dinner. I felt it fed me more.”

If you find yourself saying something along these lines, (or sounding like Carrie Bradshaw at all,) you probably need to scale back (and I don’t just mean that in regards to your SATC watching). Well lucky for you, I have some spending tips, tricks and treats for all of your city girl spending adventures.

It's only a "Happy Hour" if you don't have to drop a ton of cash to enjoy it...
It’s only a “Happy Hour” if you don’t have to drop a ton of cash to enjoy it.

EAT- Alcapulco’s: “Armed with the traditional recipes of Guadalajara, Mexico, owner David Brambila created a menu that preserves the genuine flavors of Mexican food. Start off with Chile Con Queso, taste the Arroz con Pollo, or feast on your choice of fajitas (steak, chicken, or shrimp); you’ll always find a variety of dishes to please your palate”. (Click here for a 50% off $25 deal from now until October 31, 2013)

SHOPLulu’s: From Oct. 18 to Nov. 22, enter “PSW20” at checkout for a 20% site-wide discount.

PAMPERGroup Beauté: “Grab your BFFs and learn how to make your pretty eyes more captivating than ever with this deal from Group Beauté”; $59 ($295 value, 80% off) for admission to a two-hour advanced makeup workshop, learn how to use your makeup, shape your brows, create special looks, and more. (Scheduling can be handled easily via email. PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES ON January 31, 2014.)

STYLEGOjane: From Oct. 18 to Nov. 22, mention “PSWNOV20” over the phone or enter it at checkout for a 20% discount on full-price merchandise. (No price adjustments on previous purchases. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Not applicable for gift certificates.)

RELAXBikram Yoga: Instructors certified by Bikram Yoga College of India lead 90-minute Bikram-style yoga classes in heated studios. (Click here for a $25 deal. Expires 60 days after purchase. Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as a gift. Valid only for option purchased. 10-visit punch card, 15-day unlimited, and $59 one-month unlimited options valid for new clients only.)

DRESS-UPAMI Clubwear: From Oct. 18 to Nov. 22, enter “PSW30” at checkout for a 30% site-wide discount. (Excludes Pleaser shoes.)

TREAT YO’ SELFBarre to Bar: This fall enjoy a work out at exhale spa at Battery Wharf and pair your Core Fusion® or Yoga class with, as a reward for your hard work, a visit to Aragosta Bar & Bistro.  The special Barre to Bar promotion includes half price appetizers at Aragosta, Monday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., following any exhale class. Aragosta Bar & Bistro is located at Three Battery Wharf on the North End Waterfront at Fairmont Battery Wharf.

WEARElie Tahari: From Oct. 18 to Nov. 22, enter “PSW25” at checkout for a 25% discount on full-price merchandise.

SNACK & SIPThe Four Seasons: If complimentary bar bites, burgers, burgundy or bubbly is your thing, consider playing at The Four Seasons. They have fancy specials almost every day. They’re basically just begging for you to visit.

STYLEForeign Exchange: From Oct. 18 to Nov. 22, enter “PSW20” at checkout for a 20% site-wide discount.

And if all else fails, bask in the sun on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
And if all else fails, bask in the sun for free on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for more deal and treats with every post here, on Facebook and on Twitter! You’ll be the first to know when I’ve scooped up something chic, cheap or a sneaky steal.

xo, Vanessa

Things I Love: Fall Favorites

My perfect date: Sunday Funday
My perfect date: Sunday Funday at Shake Shack in Chestnut Hill.

Fall is, by far, one of the best times to be a city girl. Between tasty food, fall fairs and days that still remind me of the best parts of summer with the addition of cozy clothes, there is still a ton to see and do when its a bit chillier.

Fall is perfect for trying out new recipes for the holidays, coffee dates downtown and sampling some of the best pumpkin beers the area has to offer. And what better way to spend the upcoming Monday holidays than touring local breweries, ordering warm cocktails at venues like the Ritz or enjoying sports like Fall Ball. In case you’re fresh out of ideas to spice up your life, here is a list of a few of the things I have done, places I have been and other fall favorites!

The best New England city that exists.
The best New England city that exists.

When it comes to celebrating anything (a friend’s birthday, change in the weather or simply the fact that it’s Friday), heading into Boston is always a good idea. Fall is also an especially great time to rendezvous with friends who make the trip into the area for sports games and other cosmopolitan adventures while the weather is still mild. To kick off my list, here’s one of my most favorite places to meet for a cozy cup of coffee, chai, espresso or a smoothie: Zume’s!

Get your buzz on.
Get your buzz on in Charlestown!

My next favorite spot is up north in Salem, Mass. While this season makes Salem especially noteworthy for it’s wicked tourist attractions, make sure you add Milk & Honey Green Grocer to your travel itinerary, even if its just for one of their famous sandwiches! While this spot is “for people who care about the environment, community, and sustainability” its also a great spot to pick up yummy treats and housewarming gifts!

Something fresh and organic this way comes!
Something fresh and organic this way comes!

If you’re looking for a place to stay when you visit this season, look no further than the Omni Parker House downtown. The views are amazing, the location is perfect and rumor has it that the place is haunted! You’ll feel like a million bucks, waking up from a good night’s sleep here and the historic decor will have you feeling festive for fall in no time!

Here's just one of the amazing views of the city (Old State House) that you can see from the Omni Parker House!
Here’s just one of the amazing views of the city (Old City Hall) that you can see from the Omni Parker House!

The ultimate romantic (and cheap) date idea is a stroll through the Boston Public Garden. Anyone who doesn’t agree clearly hasn’t seen the adorable Make Way For Ducklings statues that often dress-up for game days or had a picnic in the fallen leaves before the grounds are manicured. As America’s first public park, its more than just historic and scenic. A “must see” on your Boston bucket list if you haven’t already!

Take a stroll through the Public Gardens while the weather is nice and crisp!
Take a stroll through the Public Gardens while the weather is nice and crisp!

What are some of your favorite things to do in the city during the fall? Are there specific bars that serve up particularly toasty cocktails? Share your favorite places for sweets and treats below, on Facebook or with me via e-mail. I can’t wait to hear what you think!

xo, Vanessa

Chic & Cheap: Fall Favorites and Where To Find Them

Like many Bostonians, I’m guilty of browsing Karmaloop on my commute and I find myself in Nordstrom when my errands were only supposed to lead me to stores on the other side of the mall (deliberately). As you may have noticed, I have an affinity for things like peacoats, sandals and turquoise jewelry which is, overall, a pretty expensive hobby. That being said, not all fashion needs to be pricey to be “stylish” and it has taken great self-control for me to round-up some of the best pieces you probably didn’t even know existed at stores you might not have even thought to shop in.

Vans

For the days when you're feeling more West Coast...or just missing it.
For the days when you’re feeling more “West Coast”…or just missing it.

As the temperature changes, it’s becoming less excusable to squeeze every last drop out of your summer memories by wearing open-toed shoes. Luckily, you don’t have to give-up your surfer cool look along with your cut-offs and bandeau tops. With Vans, “the added benefit…is that the company lets you customize sneakers so they can be uniquely yours.*” So whether you like the traditional white or something with more street style credentials, Vans are soon to be at the top of your wish list.

Find them at Journeys or Vans.

Wayfarers

"...Wayfarers have been worn by everyone from Kim Novak to Mary-Kate Olsen, Bob Dylan to Chloe Sevigny."
“…Wayfarers have been worn by everyone from Kim Novak to Mary-Kate Olsen, Bob Dylan to Chloe Sevigny.”

Regardless of whether or not the season is summer, sun is always going to be a thing. It’s for this exact reason that God invented Wayfarers. (Right after he said, “Let there be light!” Amirite?!) Because of this, it is absolutely necessary that you have effective and stylish eye protection. Solar glare is just as dangerous when it is being cast off of a snowbank as it is at the beach and there’s no better way to look fashionable and practice safe sun than the ever-classic Wayfarers.

Find knock-offs like them here.

Ankle Bootie

Take some style notes from Reese & friends!
Take some style notes from Reese & friends!

Footwear in the fall is one of my favorite excuses to go shopping and the ankle bootie is one of the main reasons for this. When people think of boots, they often think of rugged, heavy or clunky shoes that don’t necessarily lend themselves to enhancing your look. That is why I love ankle booties, the footwear that surpasses expectations, can be that little bit of edge you need under a feminine maxi skirt or the most perfect, simple reminder that one of these days these boots could walk all over you (you know who you are).

Shop them here, here, and here!

Belts

White button down, brown leather and khakis. Diane Kruger knows the power of a great belt!
White button down, brown leather and khakis. Diane Kruger knows the power of a great belt!

As you may have heard me say before, I strongly believe that belts are often the most underappreciated accessories. There’s nothing lazier than exposed belt loops without a belt or an oversized shirt without a belt to cinch it together. Considering that belts can make for such an easy remedy for so many fashion flops, there’s no reason not to splurge or save on the one item that can upgrade your look so quickly.

Give these great shops a try:

Lana Marks, Streets Ahead & Linea Pelle

Camel Coat

"The ultimate uptown coat"*.
“The ultimate uptown coat”*. Shop it here.

If there’s one item you invest (in finding) this season, let me beg that it be a camel coat. This is one of those pieces that, if selected properly, can truly make you look like a movie star. It is a “true classic coat that looks both elegant and expensive”* but can be paired with jeans, skinny black pants or an evening gown. I have had some unusual luck browsing Etsy and finding some truly excellent specimens that cost significantly less than the real deal.

Your perfect alternative to the little black coat. Shop here!

What are some of your fall favorites that you have found on a budget? Sound off in the comments below or on Facebook.

xo, Vanessa

*All quotes denoted with an asterisk can be found in Nina Garcia’s fashion guide, The One Hundred.

Boston’s Best: Fall Sweets & Treats

Summer might be associated with ice cream, frosty beer and fresh fruit but fall desserts are delicious too! Finally the time has come where I don’t need to worry about chocolate melting prematurely or my spontaneous cravings for pumpkin-flavored things…fall is here! Whether you look forward to stores filling their shelves with Halloween candy or you delight in picking your own apples, here are my favorite treats of the season:

And then there was one...
And then there was one…

One holiday tradition in my family is dessert. As the weather cools down my Mom makes some of the coziest treats; gingersnap cookies, cherry pies and squash souflees. Of all the recipes, her cheesecake is always so delicious and light. With a graham cracker crust and topped with seasonal fruit, I love to enjoy her desserts with a glass of wine, cup of tea or a nightcap.

Cheesecakes with season fruit toppings are one of my favorite treats!
One of Mom’s famous cheesecakes, topped with French cherries!

For liquid treats, Kaitlyn and I enjoy heading to Marliave where the creative cocktail recipes are plentiful. What has become a tradition regardless of the season is always made better with great company. It certainly helps that their menu is diverse and traditional Boston staple but what I really love is its close proximity to downtown Boston. Stop by here if you’re looking for a new spot (I’d suggest after 5pm!)

Cocktails at Marliave are a great way to warm up on chilly days.
Cocktails at Marliave are a great way to warm up on chilly days.

Another thing I like to enjoy year-round are dollar (yes, just $1 a piece) oysters and Boston has plenty of places to find them! A treat that is equally sophisticated as it is delicious, you can learn to enjoy this delicacy on a budget, with tobasco sauce, lemon juice or cocktail sauce. Here are the best spots in Boston to sample some on the cheap:

Barlow’s: 241 A St., Boston // WHEN: Mondays, 4pm-6pm.

Dante: 40 Edwin H Land Blvd., Cambridge // WHEN: Daily from 4pm-6pm.

Les Zygomates: 129 South St., Boston // WHEN: Monday-Friday, 4pm-6pm

Local 149: 149 P St., South Boston // WHEN: Monday through Friday-6 for $6 or 12 for $11

Marliave: 10 Bosworth St., Boston // WHEN: Twice daily. (4pm-6pm and 9pm-10pm)

McCormick & Schmick’s: 1 Faneuil Hall Market Pl., Boston // WHEN: Tuesdays

Orleans: 65 Holland St., Somerville // WHEN: Mondays-3pm-7pm

Red House: 98 Winthrop St., Cambridge // WHEN: Tuesday through Sunday (50 cents for the first dozen.)

Rialto: 1 Bennett St., Cambridge // WHEN: Mondays from 5:30pm-10pm

Russell House Tavern: 14 JFK St., Cambridge //  WHEN: Daily from 11pm to close. (1am on Sundays, 2 am Thursday-Saturday)

I always have room in my tummy (and wallet) for dollar oysters!
I always have room in my tummy (and wallet) for dollar oysters!

The summer girl in me always has room for ice cream. Whether it’s Ben & Jerry’s “Cherry Garcia” or Trader Joe’s Pumpkin, frozen treats have a special place my hart regardless of the season. Ice cream is also a great way to use any of the summer peaches you may have run out of uses for. And what’s a good fall pie without the accompanying scoop of ice cream to melt on top?!

Because ice cream season is EVERY season.
Because ice cream season is EVERY season.

Speaking of pies, ’tis the season for baked goods and few do it better than Nashoba Brook Bakery. Tucked away in the cozy town of Concord, my favorite treats can be enjoyed in the cafe (open from 7am until 5:30pm) with the soft aroma of freshly baked bread. I highly recommend the delicate pink eclairs I picked up the last time I was there!

Bakery treats for two!
Bakery treats for two!

What are your favorite fall treats and/ or space to enjoy them?! Send me a pic of you enjoying a sweet (or a treat) this fall for a chance to be “It Girl of the Week”!

xo, Vanessa