Monday, July 14, 2014

A June Babe

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-birthday-candles-ruth-black.html

This year I chose to celebrate my birthday a bit differently than the usual dinner with my family. One of my now very close nursing friend's birthday the day after mine. Instead of hosting two birthday celebrations, we had one big (mini) sha-bang. Birthday boy and I decided on a family style dinner + ice cream and party the rest of the night away. It was fun time celebrating and catching up six weeks into our (their) summer break.

The girls.

Last week, sweet-boy and I went to a bed and breakfast in Napa. I've told him about my desires for a bed and breakfast years ago when we were friends. I'm glad he had his listening ears on (a term I use with the kiddos I watch). The experience was amazing and the breakfast was delicious. I am still craving their yummy fresh baked lemon cookies. I cannot wait to go back!

 Freshly baked croissant and cranberry scones.
 
Huevos Rancheros

We also had the opportunity to stop by Boon Fly Cafe, one of my favorite bunch places in Napa. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

NYC 2014

It's almost been six weeks since I came back from the bustling New York City. Although I love San Francisco, I would be lying if I didn't tell you I have NYC withdrawals from time to time.

I went to NYC with my very good friend who recently graduated from college (!). In the beginning I thought we were kidding about going to NYC, but my persistence lead us  to flight research and be fore we knew it, we booked our round-trip flight for $298!


General Tips:
  • Use a cashback website such as eBates to purchase your flights, hotel, etc. 
  • Flights - We booked our flights in April. Some people say flights are at its all time low 57+ days before your departure. I don't know how they came up with that statistic, but I got a really nice deal on my flight. I suggest booking either on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. From experience I noticed Wednesday morning flights were generally cheaper than Tuesdays. We originally looked at round-trip flights, but realized it was cheaper to book our flights one-way each way. However this may not always be the case. We booked our flights through Expedia and Kayak. You might also want to check the airline website as well to be sure you're getting the best deal.
  • Hotels are expensive - NYC in general is an expensive place to live. We booked our stay through airbnb.com which saved us a few hundred bucks! We had an entire apartment to ourselves for a fraction of what a hotel would have cost us. Plus free wifi. Believe it or not, when we shopped around for hotels, many of them were nicked since there were ridigious prices for wifi! Depending where you stay, wifi is not free.
  • Plan ahead! I took my online summer classes with me in NYC and my friend was preparing for finals and graduation the week before take off. I was homework bulking so I could have stress free days while in NYC. Needless to stay our stress levels were high. I highly recommend having a list of places you want to hit up. You can begin with dropping pins on a shared map on Google. From there make it your "goals" for the days you will be staying. We still had plenty of time to do other things. We left our last half day in NYC free to pick up whatever we needed to bring back home, mainly food goodies. Our breakdown went something like this:
    • Breakfast 
    • Attraction
    • Lunch
    • Attraction
    • Dinner
    • Dessert/Attraction
  • Grab a paper map from the airport if you're a wee-bit technology-challenged or as a back up if your phone dies. We forgot and I have trouble reading maps on my phone since I can never figure out which direction the yellow man is facing.
  • CityPass! It's a great steal if you are very interested in museums. We purchased this, but a lot of the museums let you in with a donation of your choice! Plus MOMA is free on Fridays! 
  • Broadway - We tried really hard to find a good deal to see Aladdin on broadway, but the ticket prices were way out of our budget since it was "last minute." We were still looking for day of or one day before while we were in NYC. We came across this huge booth in Time Square behind the red staircase that sold discounted broadway tickets anywhere from 25-75% off!
  • Subway - $31 for a 7-day unlimited subway pass that you pay for at the train station. 
  • Shopping - If you plan on shopping in NYC, leave some room in your luggage - tax free on clothing under $150! 
  • Packing for summer - bring comfortable foot wear(!!!), comfy shorts/dresses/rompers, a light jacket, umbrella (check the weather)

I am going to do a mini photo dump. Feel free to skip on by if you're not interested. My feelings won't be hurt :)

Also, feel free to shoot me an email (plus leave a comment telling me you did so I'll be sure to respond), if you're looking for some recommendations in NYC. I am not an expert, but I can lend a few tourist tips!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Make-Up Tutorial

An amazing reminder of what should be on the inside-out.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

To the Farmer's Market

F21 Dress (old), Charlotte Ruse cardigan, Gap sandals (here)

I called off work on Sunday because I've been battling this terrible cold...in the summer (What?). I swear the kiddos I work with, no matter how hard a try, some bugger always gets me at least once a month. Hand washing and not touching your face only gets so far until they sneeze on you. They're lucky they're so cute and funny.

The first Sunday off in months, I decided to throw on a sundress and head to the Farmer's Market. I enjoyed the fresh fruit and flower gazing. For lunch I had fish tacos and a California burrito filled carne asada, guacamole and french fries, (I think) it was delicious...I haven't been able to taste any of my food since last Monday, June 23rd. I also brought home a bag of delicious chocolate fudge with white chocolate chipcookies home with me. Yum...(I think)

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 2014 Shopping

June 2014 Shopping
Top: 1, 2, 3, 4
Center: 5, 6, 7, 8
Bottom: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Not Pictured: H&M Floral Blouse

I just realized now that I might have went a bit overboard with my shopping. Can there be a "but?"...I bought essentials! I love wearing loose fitting sweaters, and since it's summer, stores, particularly are clearing out their inventory. This season I picked up two duplicate linen sweaters that I am sure will get plenty of wear in the spring and summer. Actually, now I have two sets of duplicate sweaters of different colors from J.Crew.

Nordstrom BP Leather Moto Jacket - Birthday Present 
I returned my Old Navy moto jacket last month since the creases never faded and smelled like rubber bands after multiple wears. My friend knew I was looking for a simple moto jacket and gifted it to me for my birthday. Last week I saw the cream version at Nordstrom Rack for 60% off! The only draw back to this jacket is that the under arms/inner part of the sleeve is stretchy fabric material instead of leather. The black version doesn't show as much of the fabric color contrast as the cream/beige color. The leather is not smelly. It is soft and smooth. Sometimes I am afraid I'll scratch my jacket.

J.Crew Linen V-neck Sweaters
Originally $69.50, on sale $49.99 - 40% - 15% student discount = $25.49
Originally $69.50, on sale $49.99 - 50% + tax = $27.18
I purchased the green one while I was in NYC. When I came back home I wore it multiple times a week until the elbows bagged. The sweater fits loosely and hides the big bowl of pasta belly. I highly regretted not picking up a navy blue one while I was in NYC, so this past weekend I went ahead and ordered it in stores for 50% off and free s/h. 

J.Crew Zip-Shoulder Sweater 
Originally $79.50, on sale $39.99 - 50% off - 15% student discount + tax = $18.48
This is a duplicate of the sweater I purchased in April. I love the fit of the sweater (I wear a XS) and thought I could use more "color" in my wardrobe so I went ahead to purchase the tan color. I'm not a huge fan of tan, but I thought I'd broaden my color choices from navy blue, dark blue, and midnight blue.

H&M Swing Sweater 
Originally $19.95, on sale $10 - $6 Wrapp Code + tax = $4.35 
Like I said previously, I looooove loose fitting sweaters. This one is slightly baggier than the ones I've purchased from J.Crew...yes, as if anyone else will be able to tell the difference but me.

Forever21 Body Con Knee Length Skirt 
$5.80 + tax = $6.32
I am tired of mini skirts. Plus I can't comfortably wear them during the day without having the fear of it riding up, so I opted for a knee-length skirt. I can adjust the length by wearing it higher or lower on my waist. It's a win-win. 

Nordstrom Maxi Dress 
Originally $52, on sale $38.90 + tax = $42.30
A cozy maxi dress. No questions asked. No comment needed.

Gap Leather Sandals 
$44.95 - 40% off + tax =  $29.33
I've been looking for a simple black sandal for almost three years, THREE! I looked at Target, J.Crew, Madewell, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, Cole Haan...anywhere that sold shoes basically. Gap finally delivered. It's full grain leather and it's affordable. The claps as other reviewers stated is a bit cheaply, so I do agree that you must be careful when adjusting the strap. This little sandal has a mini heel and didn't chaft my heels when I walked. They're good for an average day, and definitely not meant for walking miles around NYC. 

Nike Sport Tank 
$29.99, on sale 9.99 + tax =  $10.89

TjMaxx 90 Degree Capri 
Originally $24.99, on sale $12 + tax = $13.08

Marshalls 90 Degree Capri 
Originally $16.99 + tax = $18.52

Old Navy Sport Bra 
Originally $16.50, on sale $7.99 + tax = $8.71

Old Navy Sport Tank with Built In Bra 
Originally $16.94, on sale $5.99 + tax = $6.53

H&M Floral Blouse (not pictured) 
Originally $4.95 + tax = $5.38

June Total $216.53
Left for the year: $766.45 - $216.53 = $549.92

Be sure to check out the other savvy shoppers!