Friday, May 22, 2015

Cheers to Long Weekends: Here & There 5.22

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Happy long weekend everyone! I'm kicking off what will surely be a glorious four days off today with a little relaxation, decompressing from FP wedding week, and... finishing up some work if we're being completely honest, haha. What do you have planned? Chris and I are headed to the Delaware Water Gap tomorrow for some hiking, then heading to the shore for a mush-anticipated beach day with friends on Sunday. I. Can't. Wait. I'm also super stoked to check out some of the thrift recommendations left in yesterdays post - thank you all so much! Honestly, I've been pretty uninspired when it comes to thrifting since moving to Philly, I like Buffalo Exchange and a few vintage places on South Street, but haven't found that true thrift gem quite yet. I've also just realized how much I accumulated while feeding my thrift habit in Pittsburgh, so it's probably been healthy to take a little break.

Anyway, have a gorgeous weekend, here are this weeks links a little early, hope you love...

Enter to win $50 from ShopBop -- all your picks are making me want to shop!

How incredible is this vintage wedding dress? It reminds me of the one I wore!

Is there anything better than vintage earrings? Love this southwestern-inspired pair.

Get 20% off your entire purchase from AA! Love this little crop, paired with this skirt

The Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale is going on, and it's pretty major - love these birk-style sandals, this cute backpack, and this pretty boho top. Also OBSESSED with this dress.

This made me laugh.

Up to 40% off at ModCloth - how cute is this cozy top?

Melissa McCarthy is the best.

Pretty swimsuits - love that retro stripes bikini - and cute bags for the beach

The 50 saddest songs of all time -- what would you add?

Gorgeous jewelry for summer

All kinds of obsessed with this decor shoot

Save 20% off ASOS with code LONGWKND! How pretty is this top?

Gorgeous artwork

HA - If guys vacationed like girls... "I got two bottles of wine for the room"

Love this reissue Grateful Dead tee

A little maxi dress inspiration for summer - this ethereal black dress, this colorful number, and this pretty thing

Yum, this looks amazing (also, whoa)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Stock Up for Summer: $50 ShopBop Giveaway

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Summer is almost here and after paring down my wardrobe considerably last year, I've been on the hunt for those few special items to add to my closet this season. Along with endlessly searching for viable Philadelphia thrift stores (seriously, are they any? Please tell me!), building the most comprehensive FP wishlist ever, and sifting through my Etsy faves, lately I've been turning more and more to ShopBop as a way to find exactly what I need. Sleek black Chelsea boots? Done. Wear all year overalls? Got 'em. The perfect pair of no-fuss jeans? Done and done. Lately I've been on the search for the perfect swimsuit, which is turning out to be a mythical creature...

If you're looking to stock up as well -- on cute flats (yay!), sweet printspretty tops, or that ever elusive swimsuit of your dreams-- today I'm excited to offer you the chance to win a $50 digital gift card to ShopBop. I don't offer giveaways too often anymore, but with summer around the corner, we could all use a little excuse to add something pretty to our closets (I just picked up this dress for a song).

To Enter: Visit ShopBop and leave a comment here telling me what you'd put the gift card towards. Be sure to leave an email address so I can get in touch if you win! The winner will be chosen June 4th using a random number generator. Open to US and international readers -- Good luck!

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Like this? Let's connect on Instagram!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Spring Getaways with ASOS: My Favorite Spots in Philly

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When we moved to Philly last summer, I arrived in our new city with the intention of doing things differently. Hindsight is 20/20 and looking back, there were so many ways in which we failed ourselves in acclimating during our first move. We held back, allowed ourselves to be intimidated by a new place... Not so with Philadelphia. It certainly helped that we moved to one of the most walkable cities in the country -- and at the beginning of summer, no less -- and that for the first month we lived smack in the center of the city, in Rittenhouse Square. We spent almost every weekend last summer wandering, looking for 'For Rent' signs, sneaking down alleyways, and challenging ourselves to find one more mural, one more hole-in-the-wall cafe.

Eventually we found the perfect little place in South Philly, in a neighborhood filled with cute families and punk rockers, young professionals and retirees who have lived here for 30+ years. It's a funny and confounding and diverse mix of people (and their dogs) and I wouldn't want it any other way. We spent most of the winter hibernating, but now that the weather is warm again and Philly is in full bloom, we've been back to wandering. And let me tell you, Philadelphia in spring is pretty glorious. My evening runs are that much longer because I literally stop and smell the roses every two or three blocks.

We're not in a place right now where we can do much traveling, but that's not stopping us from exploring in and around our new town and taking 'day-cations' when we can. It helps that it's so easy to get around here, the train is right down the street, but even without it, it's pretty much possible to get anywhere you need to on foot. We've discovered some favorites over the past few months, so when ASOS contacted me about styling a couple of looks around a spring getaway, I knew I wanted to talk about two of our favorite Philly neighborhoods: Our own (Pennsport) and Fishtown. While a tropical vacation sounds nice, there's a magic in exploring your own back yard and discovering things you didn't even know were there.

South Philly:

If you're thinking of visiting Philadelphia this spring, do yourself a favor and escape Center City for a day and come down to South Philly. There is so much personality in this part of town, and tucked between row homes and brownstones, you'll discover the reasons why we love it here. 9th street is great and Passyunk is cute, but there's a lot more to this area than what the guidebooks will tell you (most... ok, all of it is food-related):
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Grindcore House Coffee: Our neighborhood coffee shop that also happens to be completely vegan (and completely amazing). Good tunes are always playing, the almond milk lattes are phenomenal, and my meat-eating, butcher husband has nothing bad to say about the vegan donuts (I'm an omnivore too, but a little more veg-leaning).

Federal Donuts: More donuts. Don't hate. Federal Donuts is pretty much a Philly institution and you'd be doing yourself a serious disservice if you didn't eat at least one during your visit. Be sure to ask for them fresh from the fryer, and you'll be taken straight to heaven. They have fancy varieties -- the grapefruit brulee is incredible -- but my favorites are the more basic, classic flavors.

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Termini Bros.: The first time Chris and I wandered in here there was a man playing accordion in the corner. This is basically on-par with Mike's Pastryin the North End, without the lines. There's a location in Reading Terminal Market, but I prefer the original location. Mostly for the old guys and accordions. Grab a pastry or five, hit up Grindcore House for a coffee, and spend some of your Sunday morning browsing the farmers' market in Dickenson Square Park.


Fishtown:

One of our first Saturdays as Philadelphia transplants was spent exploring Fishtown. Two of our good friends from New Hampshire used to live in this energetic neighborhood and we were eager to check it out ourselves. We find ourselves here almost evey weekend as several of my friends live in this area and it's full of amazing food:

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Fishtown Tavern: A favorite spot since that first weekend in town, Fishtown Tavern is my favorite place to day drink on the weekends. Also the hummus plate is pretty solid and the bartenders are friendly.

Loco Pez: If you're broke, Loco Pez will make you feel less broke. $20 will get one person a couple of drinks and plenty of tacos, and even better, the tacos are good. This might be our favorite place to eat in Philadelphia. We really like affordable tacos.

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Johnny Brenda's: Great bands play here. More importantly, the burger is really good.

Jinxed: All locations of Jinxed are fantastic, but I consistently find amazing things at the Fishtown location. Go here for vintage and antique furniture, jewelry, and basically anything else you could imagine. Follow them on Instagram to get first dibs.

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Those are just a few of my favorite spots here in this new town of ours, obviously there's a lot more to explore. I'd love to know your recommendations!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Here & There 5.16 (+ a little bit of life in general)

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After spending last week away, I was in desperate need of some time off this week. Sure I was at work, in fact this past week and the next are sure to be two of the busiest weeks to date (I'm sure I'll end up eating my words six months from now), but after blogging all day at work, sometimes the last thing I want to do is come home and blog even more. In those moments I think the worst thing I could do is force myself to create content when it's just not there. So instead that time was taken to live life, connect with the world, relish Philly in spring, take a few long runs, and spend time with Chris. Since he started his new job a few months ago, our schedules have been a bit at odds. He often leaves for work at 4am or he'll work a late shift and get home at 11:30, so time together has been precious. Recently I've been relearning the value of making time and giving time, as opposed to just being in the presence of another person. When schedules get busy and life gets stressful (sometimes really stressful), it's so easy to just rocket ahead with your blinders on, mindlessly focusing on tomorrow and not on the years that lie ahead. It's important to lay the groundwork, to look farther ahead than tomorrow... I've needed to remind myself of that lately.

So, what else is going on? I picked up this book last weekend on my last day in Atlanta and so far am enjoying it. It felt appropriate to read having just attended Shaky Knees, and mostly I was desperate for something to occupy my mind with while I waited for my flight home. I'm planning on grabbing this one and this one next.

Zephyr acquired a Cat Tipi this week and it's pretty much the cutest thing ever. I didn't think he'd be as down with it as he is, but he loves it. Mostly, he runs and dives into it, knocking the whole thing over, but he's also been sleeping in it.

I've been cleaning out my closet a ton and am trying to decide whether to have an Instagram sale or just take everything to Buffalo Exchange. Thoughts?

Ok... a few more things I love...

How incredible is this necklace from My Vintage Spirit? I can't get enough turquoise lately.

This vintage crochet shawl is so pretty and would look amazing with a rust-colored cami and black jeans

A cute dress for spring

Definitely want to try this cruelty-free primer.

I've been obsessed with getting a white duvet cover lately - absolutely love this one

Cute (and affordable!) swimsuits for summer - love that striped one piece!

Loved this post - so cute

The perfect shoes for spring.

Absolutely love this outfit from Jen

Made me laugh

Feminist writers on Mad Men - are you watching the finale?

A space I wouldn't mind having as my own

What to wear to a wedding - this is stunning!

Instant ways to make summer better - that swan is so fun!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Greetings from ATL

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A quiet week on the blog usually means I'm up to something... or that real life is anything but quiet. This week it's both. I landed in Atlanta on Wednesday and it's been non-stop ever since. A couple of first impressions? Atlanta is beautiful  and people in the south are very, very polite, which throws me off. This was something I was already aware of, having traveled to Memphis, Nashville and all over Texas before, but it never ceases to amaze me how people will just talk to you. And it's genuine. I like it, but will admit all the opportunities for small talk take some getting used to.

Today, my co-worker Dawn and I are off to the first day of Shaky Knees. I'm so excited to see the Pixies this afternoon! And the Strokes, and the Mountain Goats, and Zella Day, and... Anyone else on the line-up you'd recommend? let me know! What about favorite Atlanta hangouts? I've already explored Little 5-Points, Decatur, Kirkwood, and Buckhead, and really loved each and every one of my experiences. Also, the food! Oh, the food...

Anyway, hello. How are you? How's your week? I hope it's been a good one :)

Image from my Instagram, that big 'ol ring is from My Vintage Spirit

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Here & There 5.3

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Happy May everyone. "It's gonna be May"... and all that. I couldn't be happier with the weather here in Philly this weekend, after the craziest week I've had in awhile, a beautiful Saturday and Sunday felt much, much deserved. This past week found me in NYC twice, once to shoot with a couple of extremely talented (and beautiful) artists, and then a sojourn to Red Hook for some wedding goodness. The week ahead will be no quieter, I'm off to Atlanta on Wednesday - Wednesday! - for an FP Me shoot and to go to Shaky Knees. I have a feeling this month is going to absolutely fly by and I want to savor every day.

My goal this week? Mostly I just want to get through the week. I know it will be a busy one. What are you working on?

This necklace would be so stunning with a simple white maxi dress for late spring, or this cute white romper.

Love this simple gold collar

These new knit sets are the cutest ever - love how you could mix and match

Beauty retouching is absolutely insane

Perfect Mother's Day gifts - love these pretty floral phone cases

And one of my mom's favorite books

THIS

I really need a new pair of Birks - these and these would be cute

Confession: I'm really really bad about going to the doctor - this was helpful

Loving these sandals too

8 vows to make to yourself before marriage

GAP is having a huge spring sale - these pineapple shorts are cute, and I'd love to nap in this

Such a pretty space

ASOS is having a big sale as well - loving these jelly sandals

Mmm.. I love coconut macaroons 

All kinds of obsessed with this straw boater hat

Meditation 101

Thursday, April 30, 2015

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day with PAWS

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It should be crystal clear that Zephyr holds a pretty special place in my heart. I can't imagine what life would be like without a paw in my face at 6 AM, without his sweet face greeting me at the door when I arrive home after a long day at work, a life without antics and shenanigans and strange cat behavior (we're still trying to figure out the obsession with our shoes and dirty socks) seems like far too quiet a life.

Zephyr isn't a shelter cat, though. No, his origins are closer to that of all the animals I had growing up: He just popped out of the woods. In Maine, especially in the area I grew up in which tends to be lower on the economic scale, it's fairly common (and heartbreaking) to find stray cats and kittens out in the wilderness or on the side of the road. People don't often take advantage of the spay/neuter clinics offered regionally, and when their cat comes home expecting babies, it's off to the woods or the neighbor's doorstep (I'm in no way saying this is what everyone does, but I have experienced this firsthand, more than once). All of my childhood pets were either strays, fosters, or taken in from neighbors and friends, so it was only natural that Zephyr and his brother Zeb (who now lives with my mom) have the same origins. My mom found them on the side of a dirt road near our house -- two tiny kittens dragging a squirrel across the road -- after some coaxing we were able to bring them home, where they hid in our woodpile for nearly a week, only coming out for kibble. Seven years later they are two of the most spirited and sweetest cats I have ever lived with. Zephyr is such a huge part of our little family, he chills with us on the couch and promptly hops up on the bed when we turn in at night. 

Today is Adopt a Shelter Pet Day, and earlier in the week I had the opportunity to visit Philly PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society) with FP's engagement intern, Katerina to take photos of some of the adoptable animals there for a Free People blog post. We didn't use all the images for the post (for the sake of length), so I wanted to share a few with you today! PAWS is an incredible non-profit organization here in Philadelphia that is dedicated to saving and rehabilitating the area's abandoned, unwanted, surrendered, and homeless animals. They're a no-kill shelter and they do incredible work - just take a peek at their Instagram and read the success stories for proof.

All of these animals (except for sweet Zephyr) are available for adoption through PAWS. Visit their website for more information or stop by sometime to visit!
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