more madewell love & ootd

Don’t forget Madewell’s additional 30% off (with code EXTRASALE) sale items ends tomorrow night! I talked about it yesterday on the blog when I did my Vans sneaker review.

And, I did some more online shopping. I seriously need smaller bottom pieces of clothing, so I started off with one of the most basic and fundamental pieces–jeans.

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Cropped jeans. I keep reading online all the love for Madewell jeans so I figured to give them a shot. I really love the denim material on my Madewell jean skirt, so I have high hopes for this cropped pair. I ordered a size 26, I hope they fit me.

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Bandana scarf. I have been eyeing this scarf for awhile now, and I’m so glad my patience paid off and that it didn’t sell out. Bandanas are trendy right now but I love this classic scarf print and red bandanas were always my favorite.

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Red nail polish. I figured for $7, why the hell not? Can you believe I don’t have a single classic red nail polish in my little collection? This red looks like a true red, so I’m excited.

And my outfit for today, what a lovely summer day by the way. These sneakers are super comfortable.

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Ciao Bella t-shirt (sold out, similar); Old Navy white shorts (old, similar); Navy slip-on sneakers.

Have a great Wednesday!

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sneaker review & it’s on sale…

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Navy slip-on sneakers & anklet.

I’m posting this quick review of these awesome Vans sneakers because they’re on sale and there is an additional 30% off the sale price with code EXTRASALE. In fact, 3 of the 4 items (sneakers, denim skirt & anklet) I’ve recently purchased online from Madewell (discussed here) are on sale with the extra 30% discount! It ends this Thursday night, so don’t delay. In case you’re interested, I previously reviewed the denim skirt and anklet (worn above) in this post.

These are my first pair of Vans sneakers and I love them. First, the classic navy leather is the prefect neutral. Second, the perforations in a diamond pattern is visually cool. Third, the perforations themselves cool off my feet in this summer weather. I bought my true size and they are comfortable. Pay attention when you order, follow the instructions online since it’s unisex sizing. I ordered 6.5 for my normal women’s size 8.

Vans holds some nostalgia for me, I love Fast Times of Ridgemont High and I fondly remember Jeff Spicoli’s love for his black & white checkered Vans. Very 80’s, which is a good thing in this case. Yet, this navy leather pair is more grown-up but still has that cool kid element.

All of these summer sales are coming fast and furious (the sale email alerts are killing me!)–are you buying anything?

40% off j.crew swimwear only today!

J.Crew is currently holding a surprise sale for 5 days with each day being different featured items. Yesterday was shorts, but today is selected swimwear and other stuff for the beach or pool (selected cover-ups, hats, sandals, tote bags, sunblock, etc.) with promo code DAYTWO. The sale ends tonight at 11:59 eastern time. There’s no risk since there is free shipping and free returns on all women’s swim through July 6th.

I thought I’d take advantage of the mix & match trend for bikinis, so I ordered 3 different colors of the same bikini top and bottom in whatever was available in my size. You should order sooner than later, sizes were selling out as I was online shopping earlier this morning.

I love string bikinis because it’s custom sizing for each piece and this bikini top ties two different ways in the back. You can tie it the way it’s shown in the stock photo below or you can simply tie the shoulder straps at the back of your neck like any other string bikini top. I also love the little cut-out detail in the front on the bikini top, it’s something different from the usual. But the best are the vibrant neon colors, which will look so amazing with a golden summer tan.

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Front of Bikini top & Bikini bottom, both in neon yellow.

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Back of Bikini top & Bikini bottom, both in neon yellow.

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Bikini bottom in neon pink.

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Bikini bottom in neon papaya.

Post-discount, the top nets to $26.40 and the bottom is $24. I ordered both the small and extra small, where available, to see which fits better. There are a lot of cute cover-ups on sale for this promotion, but I have so many already and the precise fit of a cover-up is not as critical as it is for a swimsuit.

Are you going to shop the J.Crew DAYTWO sale? Do you do the mix & match trend for your swim tops and bottoms? You could also do the same for a tankini top and bikini/hipster bottoms as a fun alternative.

Enjoy your Tuesday, xx!

what I’ve been eating & an OOTN

It’s salad season now and I’ve been taking full advantage of all the beautiful seasonal fresh produce. I love salads because well, it’s super healthy, but they’re filling (they force you to eat slowly) and they require no cooking (especially if you’ve prepped your proteins, etc. beforehand). On these hot dog days of summer, the last thing you want to do is to heat up your kitchen with the oven or range.

Here’s a few Instagram pics of our recent salads, hopefully it will give you some new ideas on snazzing up your salad creations.

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Vidalia onions are a favorite and you can eat them raw since they are on the sweeter side (you don’t get that burn like when you eat raw yellow or white onions). They went well with the spring mix salad and chopped tomatoes. And my favorite Sauvignon Blanc.

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Spring mix salad again, but I added a huge portion of chopped bell peppers, specifically red and orange (they have more nutritional benefits than green bell peppers). I threw in some cherry tomatoes (I love tomatoes!) and raw (not roasted), unsalted almonds. The almonds are great for fiber and the good fats, plus they are filling and add that desirable crunch. We buy a large sized bag of the raw almonds at Costco (Kirkland brand, I believe). We add almonds, whole or chopped, to practically everything (Greek yogurt, proteins, etc.) or just grab a small handful as a satisfying snack.

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This huge tuna & pasta salad kept me full for hours and was under 500 calories! I ran out of clean bowls so I used my large Pyrex mixing bowl, so this was a massive sized salad. Regular romaine lettuce, chopped grape tomatoes, scallions, 1 drained can of tuna, grilled asparagus (my husband made a big batch days before, with a little olive oil and fresh squeezed lemon juice), whole grain pasta and 25-year old balsamic vinegar.

I don’t ruin a good salad with store-bought salad dressings, they are loaded with sugar, unhealthy oils, and preservatives. I typically stick with balsamic vinegar and that’s it. If you have a good aged one on hand, that’s all you need. Just a tablespoon or so is enough because it’s intense, sweet and slightly tangy.

Aspargus is one of my all-time favorite vegetables. I love the taste and it always elevates your meal. You should try white asparagus when it’s in season (it’s a very short season), so delicate and elegant. Aspragus is an amazing natural diuretic too, it always debloats me. But I eat it for the taste, it goes so well with fish or a steak, a salad or cut up into small pieces for your pasta or quinoa bowl.

I was craving some carbs so I had the whole grain pasta. It has more nutritional benefits than regular pasta, but I had a small serving. You can see that there is a ton more vegetables than pasta and tuna in the Pryrex bowl. I used to eat huge bowls of pasta in one sitting, but that was no bueno. That packed on the pounds and I just felt lethargic afterwards.

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We tried kumatoes for the first time for our salads, they were delicious. When they’re ripe, they are a very dark brownish-burgundy color. So sweet and they reminded us of heirloom tomatoes (another all-time favorite of mine).

The red leaf romaine lettuce was excellent in this salad. I don’t really eat iceberg lettuce for my salads because there’s relatively no nutritional benefit as compared to all the other types of lettuce. A good general rule of thumb is to pick the darker hues of lettuce or vegetables. Red leaf romaine is packed with vitamins A and K.

The salmon steak was very good too, we buy the Kirkland frozen salmon packs at Costco. The wild-caught salmon is what you want, it’s more expensive but the taste and texture is so much better than farmed salmon. My husband poached the salmon steaks and prepared it with a little olive oil, minced garlic, white wine and freshly squeezed lemon juice.

And now to switch gears, I wanted to show you the informational sticker on the Concept2 rowing machine at my gym.

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This cardio machine strengthens and tones all those highlighted areas in red. It really tightened and toned my legs and core. There’s some definition to my back, arms and shoulders too. I truly love this low-impact workout, so much more than the treadmill or elliptical machine. Its rythmic motion is actually kind of soothing and it leaves me to think or just enjoy my music (a little brain-cation). Plus, the rower is often ignored at the gym so I never have to wait to get on one.

I started upping my strength exercises with free weights and the weight machines at the gym. I want to firm up everything on my body, but more importantly, build stronger muscles and bones for later on in life, to avoid or lessen the effect of osteoporosis or rebounding from a bad fall.

Switching gears again, here’s an outfit of the night picture from earlier this week.

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Helmut Lang top (old, similar); J Brand waxed black jeans; BCBGMAXAZARIA shoes (old, similar); BCBGENERATION fringe cuff bracelet (sold out, similar); Omega watch (vintage).

The jeans are new and the fit is amazing (my old jeans are way too big on me now), but the rest is old. I really should wear nude tones more often, it sets off my black hair and looks cool with the black jeans.

Do you have any favorite salad combinations that you’d like to share? Enjoy your weekend!

raincoat review

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Woolrich raincoat in steel blue (also available here); Forever 21 embroidered peasant dress (sold out, similar); Lucky Brand Wekka sandals; Vintage necklace (similar in yellow); Silver & turquoise bangle (old); Diamond band ring (similar); Cartier tank watch.

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Forever 21 embroidered peasant dress (sold out, similar); Lucky Brand Wekka sandals; Vintage necklace (similar in yellow); Silver & turquoise bangle (old); Diamond band ring (similar); Cartier tank watch.

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Woolrich raincoat in steel blue (also available here); Forever 21 embroidered peasant dress (sold out, similar); Lucky Brand Wekka sandals; Vintage necklace (similar in yellow); Silver & turquoise bangle (old); Diamond band ring (similar); Cartier tank watch.

I’m beyond thrilled with my new Woolrich raincoat, it’s even better in person. I discussed it previously here. After trying it on and actually wearing it this morning during a thunderstorm, here’s my review.

The pros:

1. Machine washable (yes!).
2. It has a removable hood (easy to snap on and off).
3. Longer length so your thighs and butt won’t get drenched.
4. Roll-up sleeve tabs secured by a snap. I love that the sleeves can be rolled up and stay rolled up.
5. Lots of big pockets (7 total!), there are 6 exterior pockets and one secret interior pocket. All are secured with Velcro. They will easily store all the essentials, I think I’ve found my new tailgating/sporting event jacket. No other coat or jacket of mine has this many big pockets.
6. Cool slate blue color with pops of traffic cone orange interior piping.
7. Colorful and feminine madras-inspired mesh lining.
8. Well ventilated in the back.
9. Zipper and snap closures in the front. There’s no way water is getting inside this raincoat!
10. The material is very light and thin, but it seems wind-proof. It’s not meant for sub-zero temperatures, but it’s a perfect lighter layer to protect you from the elements.
11. I love the cocoon shape of the coat, it’s subtle in its modern silhouette. It looks like a classic raincoat but it doesn’t age you or make you appear heavier than you are. I bought a size Small, so I think it’s true to size.

The cons:

1. I was disappointed that the raincoat is not made in the USA, as was indicated on Madewell’s website (mine was made in China per the inside tag). This raincoat is on the expensive side and I don’t mind paying more for goods made in the US, but what a letdown that it was made in China.

2. It also does not have the orange piping at the sleeves and hood that you see on Madewell’s website. But it does showcase the colorful checked lining when you roll up the sleeves and the hood’s interior has the lining too.

I love this raincoat and I could see myself reaching for it even when it’s not raining outside. I highly recommend it!

denim skirt

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Forever 21 embroidered top (old, similar); Madewell denim skirt (on sale) & anklet (30% off now with code SUMMER); Target sandals (old, similar); Ray Ban aviator sunglasses; J.Crew floral shield necklace (now 60% off).

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Forever 21 embroidered top (old, similar); Madewell denim skirt (on sale) & anklet (30% off now with code SUMMER); Target sandals (old, similar); Ray Ban aviator sunglasses; J.Crew floral shield necklace (now 60% off).

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Forever 21 embroidered top (old, similar); J.Crew floral shield necklace (now 60% off).

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Madewell anklet (30% off now with code SUMMER); Target sandals (old, similar).

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Forever 21 embroidered top (old, similar); Madewell denim skirt (on sale) & anklet (30% off now with code SUMMER); Target sandals (old, similar); Ray Ban aviator sunglasses; J.Crew floral shield necklace (now 60% off).

I finally received my new purchases from Madewell (discussed here) and I’m really pleased with everything. This denim skirt is an instant favorite, the fabric is so soft and I love the raw hem at the bottom. I bought a size 26 and it fits perfectly in the waist and length. The anklet is very fun to wear. It’s called dancing arrows and the tiny arrows really do dance as you move. I wore a white cotton embroidered top to stay cool in the sun and heat and finished the outfit with cognac flat sandals and classic Ray Ban aviators. The J.Crew necklace added the final touch of polish.

Enjoy your Sunday! xx

go crimson

My husband and I went up to Red Top in Gales Ferry, Connecticut last weekend for the 150th Harvard-Yale Regatta. The Race is the oldest intercollegiate sporting event in the United States. Lots of history and of course, the long-standing rivalry between the two schools. There was an alumni row and celebratory dinner the day before the big race, both of which we really enjoyed. My husband caught up with old friends and I made new ones. It was the perfect weekend (except for Harvard’s loss the following day, only the second time in the twenty-first century).

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“The Rock” at Bartlett’s Cove.

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Harvard boathouse.

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Remembering Harry Parker, the legendary Harvard coach for 51 years. The 44-7 was his impressive record in the Harvard-Yale regatta.

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The weather vane atop the boathouse.

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A young Harry Parker.

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A peek inside the boathouse. Look at all the rowing machines!

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The oars. My husband rowed with the old school blade.

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The dining house.

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Loft military jacket (similar); Armor Lux red striped tee (similar); Current Elliott Stiletto jeans (similar); Steve Madden Ecentric leopard sneakers; Ray Ban flash lense aviators; Chanel classic flap bag.

Dressed in red (stripes) to cheer on the Harvard Crimson.

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Zara linen blazer (similar); Signette pink pleated tier dress (old).

Cocktail hour & dinner al fresco at the Coast Guard Academy on the Thames River. Although I was wearing 4-inch wedges, I was constantly looking up the entire evening. Crew men are tall!

Happy Friday to you!

neon pink prep

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Old Navy green gingham button down shirt (old, similar); Current Elliott Stiletto jeans (old, similar); Target camo flats (old, similar); H&M neon pink statement necklace (old); J.Crew Factory neon pink skinny belt (old, similar); Cara love knot hinge cuff (old, similar) & spike hinge cuff (old, similar); Cartier tank watch.

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Old Navy green gingham button down shirt (old, similar); Current Elliott Stiletto jeans (old, similar); H&M neon pink statement necklace (old); J.Crew Factory neon pink skinny belt (old, similar); Cara love knot hinge cuff (old, similar) & spike hinge cuff (old, similar); Cartier tank watch.

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Old Navy green gingham button down shirt (old, similar); Current Elliott Stiletto jeans (old, similar); Target camo flats (old, similar); H&M neon pink statement necklace (old); J.Crew Factory neon pink skinny belt (old, similar); Cara love knot hinge cuff (old, similar) & spike hinge cuff (old, similar); Cartier tank watch.

Here’s yesterday’s outfit. And Bella! She wanted to get in on the OOTD fun.

Pink and green is a very preppy color combination, but I personalized it by adding a bit of camo print and neon to my pink. An easy, peasy outfit that was thrown together in mere minutes. I think it was Bella-approved.

Happy Friday to you! xx

missed you, madewell

It’s been awhile since I purchased anything from Madewell, but an email about their 25% off promo on selected dresses (code YESPLEASE, it ends tonight) yesterday got me browsing online. Annnnd, I bought some stuff. None of which is a dress (of course, heh), but I’m still considering one dress in particular. A few weeks back, Madewell had emailed me a personalized one-time use 20% off code to lure me back into their fold, so it was a done deal. Here they are:

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Denim skirt. I haven’t had a denim skirt in eons, but I like the broken-in look of this skirt and the longer length. I’ve been eyeing this skirt for awhile and it’s finally on sale!

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Love how the denim skirt is styled here by Madewell. This is super easy to replicate with stuff already in my closet.

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Navy slip-on sneakers. As you may know, I love navy. And, you can’t get anymore classic than Vans. Perforated leather and made in the USA, and it’s currently on sale for a great price. I’m wearing these with pretty much everything (and give my leopard slip-on sneakers a well-deserved break).

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Anklet. Madewell makes the coolest inexpensive jewelry, hands down. And their gold-toned pieces don’t turn color immediately after purchasing them (this is why I stopped buying jewelry from Forever 21). I don’t have a gold-toned anklet, so this was kind of a must-have. I may wear this anklet all summer long, it’s got such a beachy vibe to it. This boho beauty is on sale too.

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Raincoat. This raincoat was a total unexpected purchase for me. First, it’s not on sale and it’s on the pricey side. That’s where the 20% promo code was really helpful in knocking the price down. Second, I didn’t think I was in the market for this type of raincoat. I already have 2 trench coats (one black, the other light tan). But, they are strictly dry clean only. I need a raincoat for those not-so-precious moments in life, like for walking the dog. Bella is not a fan of the rain, so our walks take longer than normal for her to get situated.

This raincoat ticks all of the boxes. Machine washable. Big hood (so no umbrella needed). Made in the USA (by Woolrich, no less!). Longer length so my thighs and butt won’t get drenched. Roll-up sleeve tabs (comes in handy, trust). Lots of big pockets (to store all the essentials, because who wants their nice $$$ bag to get soaked?). Cool slate blue color with pops of traffic cone orange. What’s not to love about this workhorse of a raincoat?

So, that’s my haul from yesterday. Back to the Madewell “maybe” pile–besides the dress (I didn’t order the dress since you can’t stack promo codes on Madewell’s website and 25% is better than 20%), I also want a scarf. I’m sort of kicking myself for not discovering it yesterday so I could use the 20% promo code. But, I could exercise some restraint here and hold off on the dress and scarf for an eventual sale in the future (with the hopes they’re still in stock). Roll the dice, as they say. What I really need are bottom pieces since a lot of my jeans, shorts and skirts are too big. So, I need to channel my shopping focus there.

Have you bought anything cute lately, please share your finds. Have a great Thursday, xx.

black & white classics

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Madewell white button-down shirt (more sizes here) & bow ring (old, similar); BCBG Max Azaria seamed black leggings (old, similar); Forever 21 pointed faux leather loafers (sold out, similar); Banana Republic Art Deco pendant necklace (old, similar); Omega gold square watch (vintage, similar); Cara studded leather black bracelet (old, similar); Alex and Ani bangles (Birthstone, Zodiac & Path of Life); Clinique chubby stick intense in mightiest maraschino.

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Madewell white button-down shirt (more sizes here) & bow ring (old, similar); BCBG Max Azaria seamed black leggings (old, similar); Forever 21 pointed faux leather loafers (sold out, similar); Banana Republic Art Deco pendant necklace (old, similar); Omega gold square watch (vintage, similar); Cara studded leather black bracelet (old, similar); Alex and Ani bangles (Birthstone, Zodiac & Path of Life); Clinique chubby stick intense in mightiest maraschino.

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Madewell white button-down shirt (more sizes here) & bow ring (old, similar); Banana Republic Art Deco pendant necklace (old, similar); Omega gold square watch (vintage, similar); Cara studded leather black bracelet (old, similar); Alex and Ani bangles (Birthstone, Zodiac & Path of Life).

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Madewell white button-down shirt (more sizes here) & bow ring (old, similar); BCBG Max Azaria seamed black leggings (old, similar); Forever 21 pointed faux leather loafers (sold out, similar); Banana Republic Art Deco pendant necklace (old, similar); Omega gold square watch (vintage, similar); Cara studded leather black bracelet (old, similar); Alex and Ani bangles (Birthstone, Zodiac & Path of Life); Clinique chubby stick intense in mightiest maraschino.

It’s been rainy and colder this week, boo. This funk in the weather calls for a reliable black/white color combo as well as the basics. You can never go wrong with a classic white button-down shirt and simple black leggings. Just add white and black accessories and you’re good to go. A red lip never hurts either, it’s a total game changer.

The week is officially half over, thank goodness. Good night!

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