fridays call for overalls

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Forever 21 white overalls & faux suede slides (sold out, similar); Madewell striped linen muscle tee (old, grey striped option), tag necklace & leather cuff bracelet (old, similar); Cartier tank watch.

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Forever 21 white overalls & faux suede slides (sold out, similar); Essie Sittin’ Pretty nail polish.

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Forever 21 white overalls & faux suede slides (sold out, similar); Madewell striped linen muscle tee (old, grey striped option), tag necklace & leather cuff bracelet (old, similar); Cartier tank watch.

Friday, I’m in love with these white overalls. I’ve never had a pair, I missed them in the 90’s since that was my 20’s decade. So, I’m glad I didn’t miss out this time. I prefer the white denim over the traditional blue overalls, especially for summer. These are comfortable and so easy to wear with a tee and slides. I’m ready for the weekend and definitely the summer.

I really love the vibrant shade of lilac on my toes. The nail polish was a gift, I love this color. And our purple flowers growing in our front yard! By the way, I really believe the cuticle oil I’ve been using lately (discussed here) has made my feet and hands look so much better. This close-up image shows less dry skin around my toenails. I’ve also been using a pumice stone on my feet during my showers.

Do you like or wear overalls? Enjoy your weekend! xx

capri tee + ikat skirt

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Milly for Kohl’s Capri tee; J.Crew Factory ikat skirt (old, similar in black /white ikat); Target Sam & Libby Karina sandals (old, similar); Diamond & gold hoop earrings (old, similar); Madewell necklace (similar) & tiger’s eye cocktail ring (similar); Kate Spade New York initial necklace; Marc by Marc Jacobs Amy rose gold watch.

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Milly for Kohl’s Capri tee; Madewell necklace (similar); Kate Spade New York initial necklace.

I’m trying to keep cool in this heat and humidity. I think a lighter weight slub tee and a colorful miniskirt did the job. I layered two necklaces and wore my gold hoop earrings to provide a summery look for my jewelry. Flat sandals to complete this easy outfit.

Stay cool!

my current favorite healthy snacks

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I want to preface this post by stating that I don’t really cook. When left to my own devices, I opt for easy. I’m a very lucky girl because my husband cooks and he is seriously excellent at it. He doesn’t really follow recipes, rather he just throws food together and it always end up delicious. Both of us have been eating healthier for the past year or so (this matters so much when everyone in the household is on the same page).

One of the fundamental rules we have learned to set yourself up for success is to keep the crap foods out of the house. It keeps the temptation for trigger foods at a minimum. What to keep on hand when you get those cravings for a snack?

1. Ready to eat fresh veggies. We wash and cut the veggies right away and put them in baggies or Tupperware type of containers so they are ready for a snack (or to throw in a salad, or to cook). My favorites are sugar snap peas (I just rinse, I like them whole), cut up bell peppers (red, orange or yellow are better nutritionally than green), and radishes (love the peppery taste). I also love seedless cucumbers, great for a snack but I love to add slices to my drinking water.

2. Get an air popper for popcorn. No oils to cook the popcorn and no gross chemicals from the microwave versions. Season with powdered seasonings. I like cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Or simply drizzle apple cider vinegar over the popcorn for a tart treat. As a side note, buy apple cider vinegar with the Mother. It will say Mother on the label, it’s the good stuff that makes this type of vinegar so good for your body.

3. Protein bars. You really need to read the nutritional labels for these. Check for the amounts of sugar, carbs, fiber and protein. Keep the fiber/protein high and the sugar/carbs low. My current favorite are Atkins bars (e.g., peanut butter granola bars).

4. Avocados. I try to eat one a day whenever possible. They are filling and contain good fats and other nutrients. I just eat it plain with a spoon.

5. Canned sardines. So filling with lots of protein and healthy fish oils. For such a little fish, it packs a huge nutritional punch. I’ve been loving the Season Brand sardines in olive oil (skinless & boneless). They sell them in 5-packs in Costco.

6. Beef jerky. I try to limit my consumption because of the high sodium levels (I’m watching my salt intake), but I will have a little snack size bag whenever I need to increase my protein. Jack Link’s have snack size bags or you can buy a big bag and divide them into your own snack-sized portions.

7. Raw, unsalted almonds. A small handful is a great easy and packable snack. Don’t go overboard though, the calories and fat add up fast. Blue Diamond makes 100-calorie packs that you can throw in your purse, it takes the portion control guessing game out of the equation.

8. Nonfat plain Greek yogurt. Eat it plain or you can add fresh fruits. My favorite fruits are berries since they are relatively higher in fiber and lower in sugar as compared to other fruits. Plus, they are so naturally sweet when in season. My husband likes to mix in a teaspoon or so of peanut butter into his Greek yogurt. The related note here is that you need to read the peanut butter’s nutritional label. Check the sugar levels, look to keep it under 3 grams of sugar per serving.

9. Cottage cheese. We like 2% fat cottage cheese because it strikes the right balance between taste and low-fat numbers. We couldn’t do fat-free, it tasted like paste. Fresh cubed pineapple is a tasty add-on to the cottage cheese. Substitute cream cheese (we said buh-bye since there’s no redeeming nutritional value to cream cheese) with your smoked salmon for a powerful protein packed breakfast or snack.

10. Sunflower seeds. Seeds are very nutritious and these take awhile to eat since you have to remove the shells. These are great while watching TV at night or for watching a game of sports.

I also wanted to mention the documentary, Fed Up, since it’s about the American food industry and the deadly or disease-causing effects. You learn about the evils of added sugars in our foods. You should check it out on Netflix. Here’s the trailer:

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Amalfi Coast

Get ready to be inundated with my Amalfi Coast pictures. It was hard to narrow it down for the blog because the coastal landscape of this part of the Mediterranean is unlike any other I’ve ever experienced. In a word, breathtaking.

We stayed in Amalfi (the main town of the coast), at the Santa Caterina Hotel. I cannot recommend this jewel of a hotel enough, it was old-world class and glamour but with an easy beachlife vibe. The hotel is filled with lots of artwork and antique furniture. Even the floor of our suite had the local artisan hand-painted ceramic tiles. The food and service is outstanding, the servers wear proper jackets. But it was never stuffy, simply friendly and accommodating. The beach club/pool was right at sea level and it was fabulous. I think I drank my body weight in rosé there.

After our stay in Rome, where we walked the city like it was our job, we took it easy in Amalfi. I suppose like the locals do. We did walk into the main town and attended Sunday mass at the Amalfi Cathedral. We also visited Positano to sightsee and have dinner at La Tagliata (a big thank you to Elena, our trusted travel agent, for this wonderful rec). Sadly, we didn’t make it to the island of Capri. The water was too rough for boats to sail to Capri for one of the days of our stay. I also think my family was worried about my lack of sea legs when we took the water taxi from Amalfi to Positano, the boat ride was very choppy and I wasn’t feeling my best. This may or may not have been exacerbated by my rosé imbibement mere hours before. So, my husband and I hope to return to the Amalfi Coast someday and visit Capri, hopefully when the Mediterranean is more calm.

So, here we go!

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Enjoying the view and Prosecco from our terrace. Forever 21 Life In Progress chambray top (sold out); Paige Denim white jeans; Steve Madden Ecentric leopard sneakers; Cartier tank watch; Banana Republic Favtory Store metallic snakeskin belt (old).

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Part of the Santa Caterina property, as seen from their Beach Club. I half expected to witness a princess popping out of the tower doors and onto the terrace.

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Close-up shot of the gorgeous hand-painted tile floors of our suite. Also, my husband’s new shoes from the Salvatore Ferragamo store in Rome. How gorgeous are these with the light oyster leather and blue soles!

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Aboard the water taxi in Amalfi, en route to Positano.

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Positano! I love this picture of my husband and me, he looks so handsome in his linen ensemble. Bailey 44 striped column midi dress (old); American Eagle Outfitters cotton knit motorcycle jacket (old, similar); Lucky Brand Wekka sandals in black; Marc by Marc Jacobs grey crossbody bag (old, but awesome dupe).

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La Tagliata restaurant in Positano. One of our best meals of our Italian trip, and that’s saying a lot! It’s family owned and operated, a true delight and experience. There’s no menu, they just bring you all these amazing courses of delicious delights. Everything is local, farm-to-table long before it became the rage here. It sits atop the mountain and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. The views and open air dining are unrivaled. You must dine here, given the opportunity. Allow yourself at least 2 hours, if not more, to have a leisurely meal. And to enjoy the local limoncello as an after-dinner treat. This restaurant was also the best value for the euro.

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The view from La Tagliata. Stunning.

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Amalfi Cathedral. This gorgeous cathedral dates back to the 1200’s. My family and I attended Sunday mass and it was truly wonderful. Although we don’t speak Italian, we were still able to follow the mass. The locals were so warm and friendly during the Sign of Peace (I will never forget the Italian word for peace, pace). We loved how the children were involved too, their angelic voices singing the hymns and shaking hands for the Sign of Peace.

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Our walk into town at Amalfi. Mopeds and motorcycles abound in Italy.

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Adorable sea-themed car along our walk.

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Climbing higher and higher through a small street in Amalfi. Spot my husband leading the charge (smartly in the shade).

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The spectacular view from our open-air table at Eolo, a Michelin star restaurant that specializes in seafood. Another top meal of our trip, excellence on all fronts. We were lucky to get the sunset during our dinner and then the lights started to twinkle along the coast.

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Pre-dinner picture of my dad, sister and me. How cute are they? Isabel Marant pour H&M silk dress (old); Lucky Brand Wekka sandals in black; Marc by Marc Jacobs grey crossbody bag (old, but awesome dupe).

Hope you enjoyed the pics of Amalfi. Have you been? Please do tell if I must return with a day trip to Capri. If you haven’t been, did this spark your interest to visit this beautiful coast?

Have a safe and fun-filled Memorial Day weekend with your loved ones and a heartfelt thank you to the women and men who have died while serving in our country’s armed forces. xx

let’s talk about nails

This past winter wreaked havoc on my nails and cuticles. I’m also a chronic hand washer. My nails chip and break so easily and my cuticles are so dry. I knew I had to up my nail game, so I bought this cuticle oil:

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Butter London Handbag Holiday cuticle oil.

I’ve never used a cuticle oil before, I just used hand lotion. Well, color me a cuticle oil convert. I simply brush the oil on my cuticles for both my toenails and fingernails. Then I rub the oil into my cuticles and nails. The oil absorbs quickly and the smell is pleasant. My skin doesn’t feel oily at all and you see and feel a big difference immediately. The cuticles become super soft and my nails have a healthy sheen. I apply this right before I fall asleep and if my hands need some fast relief. Also, I apply it before I give myself a manicure and pedicure. Although, I do wash my hands before putting on my base coat since you want a squeaky clean nail bed. Plus, a little oil goes a long way and the bottle is pretty big with lots of product. So, I highly recommend it. I’ve also read that cuticle oil can help extend your manicure. You just rub it as you normally would and it makes the polish shiny and hydrates the cuticle area so it won’t dry out and cause your nail polish to chip there.

Now, moving on to nail polish. You may already know I love my Chanel nail polish. Their colors are original, many other brands make dupes of Chanel’s nail colors. But they are pricey for nail polish. Then I read about Tom Ford nail polish on Jill’s blog, Everything Just So, and saw the Bitter Bitch color on Neiman Marcus’s Instagram feed. Tom Ford is even more expensive than Chanel (gulp). But, I wanted this deep color and I loved the Bitter Bitch name (it’s an inside joke for me). Here it is:

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Tom Ford nail lacquer in Bitter Bitch; Cartier tank watch; Rebecca Minkoff dog clip leather bracelet (old); JC Penney camo scarf (old).

First, please excuse the polish on my thumb. This nail polish is thick and the color is so intense, you really have to focus to avoid mistakes. I even used an orange stick to clean up the edges, but missed my thumb (oops).

I thought this color would be more purple but it’s the color of Pinot noir. As stated, the consistency is thick and the first coat goes on streaky. But after I put on the second coat, the color was dramatic. And it was super shiny, hence the lacquer name I guess. Bitter bitch reminds me of Revlon’s Toast of New York color from the 1990’s, which I was obsessed with (I wore the lipstick and nail color constantly). I really love this color, it looks great with my shorter nail length. I’m also very intrigued by the Black Jade color in the same Tom Ford Spring Collection. Oh boy, looks like my Chanel nail polish bottles will have to make some room.

Do you have Tom Ford nail polishes and what do you think of them? Any new nail colors that you’ve fallen in love with?

I promise to post the Amalfi, Italy pictures. I took so many pics with my new digital camera, I need to cull through it all. TGIF!!

veni, vidi, vici

Sorry for the radio silence. I have just returned from a long family vacation in Italy. This was my third trip to Italy, but this time we went to Rome (my second visit) and Amalfi (my first time!). Rome is an incredible city, it is so abundantly rich with history and religious significance. It’s really beautiful and I’d love to visit again someday. It’s one of my all-time favorite cities in the world, it’s up there with Paris.

We stayed at J.K. Place Roma and I highly recommend this 5-star hotel. The location (near the Spanish Steps), accommodations and level of service were exceptional. The food was amazing, a true foodie paradise. I kept up with my FitBit (I clocked over 50 miles for the whole trip!) and I tracked My Fitness Pal daily. Yet, I overly indulged in lots of Italian food and wine. For me, it’s a given whenever in Italy.

I posted several pictures and short videos on my Instagram (valleyoftheshoes), but here’s a sample of my Rome pics:

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The Colosseum.

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The Altare Della Patria.

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The Roman Forum.

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The Pantheon, exterior and interior.

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St. Peter’s Basilica.

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One of the many intricate mosaic tile floors in the Vatican Museums (plus my Steve Madden Ecentric sneakers, which I wore the most during my trip).

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Pre-dinner pic. Calvin Klein yellow eyelet dress (old, similar); Lucky Brand sandals (old, similar); Forever 21 grey scarf (old, similar); Marc by Marc Jacobs crossbody bag (old, similar).

As you can see, there is a lot to love about The Eternal City. Amalfi is up next so check back. Ciao!

red stripes + gold

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Milly for Kohl’s striped t-shirt dress; Zara ballet flats (old, similar); Diamond & gold hoop earrings (old, similar); Madewell tag necklace; J.Crew Factory leopard bangle (old, similar); Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Amy’ rose gold watch.

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Ray Ban aviators; Milly for Kohl’s striped t-shirt dress; Zara ballet flats (old, similar); Diamond & gold hoop earrings (old, similar); Madewell tag necklace; J.Crew Factory leopard bangle (old, similar); Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Amy’ rose gold watch.

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Milly for Kohl’s striped t-shirt dress; Zara ballet flats (old, similar); Diamond & gold hoop earrings (old, similar); Madewell tag necklace; J.Crew Factory leopard bangle (old, similar); Marc by Marc Jacobs ‘Amy’ rose gold watch.

My love for red and white stripes have surpassed the more classic navy and white stripe combo. To me, red is a happy color and it just lifts your mood. This new Milly for Kohl’s dress is an instant favorite. I love the little open lattice detail at both shoulder seams, it’s such a subtle and feminine touch. Gold goes great with red, so I threw on all of the gold-toned basics. I was very comfortable walking Bella this morning in this dress. It was really gorgeous outside and this little striped number was simply perfect.

So, have you checked out the Milly for Kohl’s collection yet? Enjoy your day! xx

double fringe + jumpsuit

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Milly for Kohl’s jumpsuit in Navy Combo; Madewell Arrowstack necklace; BCBGeneration fringe cuff; Lucky Brand Wekka fringe sandal in Honey.

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Milly for Kohl’s jumpsuit in Navy Combo; Madewell Arrowstack necklace; BCBGeneration fringe cuff; Lucky Brand Wekka fringe sandal in Honey.

Oh man, do I love this jumpsuit! The material is a soft t-shirt type of material that is drapey and stretchy. It also has pockets and a finished elastic waist that lays flat and stays put. Besides the fresh navy and white floral print, I’m obsessed with the double shoulder straps. You need this jumpsuit, trust me.

I’m also wearing my new fringe sandals in a honey colored suede and a fringe cuff bracelet. This fringe cuff is a serious piece of jewelry, I feel a little bit of a badass when I wear it. The cuff is substantial and the fringe feels amazing against your skin. I tried and failed in posting a YouTube video on this blog of me wearing the cuff. But, if you check out my Instagram here, it should pop up for you. You need to see the fringe in motion to really appreciate this cuff.

Are you into jumpsuits or fringe lately?

By the way, my most recent white jeans outfit has been featured by the ever fabulous Jill, of Everything Just So, in the monthly How I Wear My challenge. Please check it out to see a wonderful variety of outfits and Jill. She’s is an excellent writer and I love her take on the history of fashion and jewelry, NYC, etc.

Cheers to the week being halfway over! xx

milly for kohl’s

It’s collaboration time! Did you snag anything from the Lilly Pulitzer for Target rollout? No surprise that pretty much everything sold out in a hot second. If you’re chomping at the collab bit, look no further than the Milly for Kohl’s Design Nation collection. The magazine ad campaign is what got me, I was smitten with all the stripes. Most especially red stripes, which I’ve been obsessed with ever since I got my red striped Armor Lux top that I received as a Xmas gift. Also, I’ve always admired Milly’s contemporary designs for higher end department stores such as Saks, etc., but I don’t think I’ve ever purchased a Milly item. I think Milly does a feminine dress and jacket very well.

The Milly collection at Kohl’s has a lot of pretty dresses in various silhouettes, something for every body type. What I really fell in love with was the Capri-inspired look and feel of the clothing. There are t-shirts that say Capri on them (which I’ve purchased), but the stripes and bold colors and prints seem to celebrate all that is good with Capri (la dolce vita, as they say). There are lemon prints (limoncello, anyone?), nautical stripes and floral prints. I plan on visiting Capri this spring, so I’m seriously pumped on anything Italian right now!

Here are my purchases:

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Striped t-shirt dress. How cute is this simple dress? Talk about getting dressed in 2 seconds flat. This will look great with sneakers or flat sandals.

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Capri t-shirt. The colors on this slub tee are vivid and beautiful. I hope the real thing is just as colorful.

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You, Me, Capri t-shirt. Blue nautical stripes, enough said.

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Capri tank. I can’t wait to visit the Blue Grotto on my trip!

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Jumpsuit. This comes in a solid black version, but the fresh navy and white print is a must-have in my eyes.

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Ciao Bella t-shirt. I had to, for my little girl, Bella.

You should check it out, I’m sure you’ll find something that speaks to you. I believe the entire collection is 30% off right now (at least online). Sizes are selling out for the popular items.

Have a great Monday and ciao!

blue at the beach

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Old Navy denim jacket (old, similar); Madewell striped sleeveless linen tee (old, similar); Zara blue camo skinny pants (old, similar in light grey); Bar III fringe necklace (sold out, similar); J.Crew Factory yellow braided belt (old, similar); Ray Ban flash lense aviators; Steve Madden ‘Ecentric’ leopard sneakers.

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Madewell striped sleeveless linen tee (old, similar); Zara blue camo skinny pants (old, similar in light grey); Bar III fringe necklace (sold out, similar); J.Crew Factory yellow braided belt (old, similar); Ray Ban flash lense aviators; Steve Madden ‘Ecentric’ leopard sneakers.

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Quirky lighthouse-themed shorehouse along the walk.

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Bella loves the beach, can’t you tell?

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Old Navy denim jacket (old, similar); Madewell striped sleeveless linen tee (old, similar); Zara blue camo skinny pants (old, similar in light grey); Bar III fringe necklace (sold out, similar); J.Crew Factory yellow braided belt (old, similar); Ray Ban flash lense aviators; Steve Madden ‘Ecentric’ leopard sneakers.

Bonding with Bella on our walks is the best way to spend a Sunday!

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