Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sartorial Sunday: Black Out

Head to Toe: Romper, Marshall's // Sandals and hat, Burlington Coat Factory // Bag, Steve Madden // Necklace, Laila Rowe // Jacket, Target.

In the summer, there's nothing more chic and versatile than a good romper. They can be dressed up or even worn to work (given that they're a few inches longer than this one), or styled casually for the beach. This one's my go-to weekender since it can transition from day to night so easily. Paired with black and neutral accessories, it works from city to suburbs. Have a great Monday, fashionistas! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hump Day Favorites: Summer Office Essentials

First off, I want to say how thrilled I am to be writing "Hump Day Favorites" already. I mean, today was basically Monday! I hope you all had a lovely long weekend celebrating the unofficial kick-off to summer. And of course, my thoughts to anyone who has lost a loved one who served in the military and my thanks to all of those currently serving. 

My weekend involved everything a MDW should, i.e., the three B's—beach, brunch and barbecue. But let's face it, when you have a nine-to-five, the word summer doesn't mean quite what it used to. Instead of three months, break is two days a week, and lazy beach days are traded for air-conditioned cubicles. I rely on a few key things to enjoy my office during the summer, and to still be inspired by the season.

Remember those big blanket scarves from winter? Don't pack them away. A big scarf is my number one necessity (like this boho one from Zumiez). Worn as a scarf or wrapped like a shawl, it comes in handy when the a/c kicks in and can be thrown over pretty much anything. It can even come in clutch in the event of an impromptu lunch-break picnic. 
Next, dress up your desk! A fun mug is important no matter the season, and it holds the best creation invented—coffee. I like these from Etsy and Kate Spade. Then add a frame containing a fun vacation photo to remind you that the beach isn't so out of reach. 
A little greenery does the mind and body good, and succulents are the hardiest in fickle office environments, plus they don't require much care. Adventures in Cooking has a good DIY terrarium tutorial, or you can get them for $10–$20 in Whole Foods. 
Last, fresh flowers always perk me up. Peonies are in season right now and I can't even look at them without smiling, but really any will do. A one-off rose from your local flower shop will run you about $3. So worth it!
Photo sources (clockwise from top): Proflowers // The Every Girl // Lovelyish

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sartorial Sunday: Bespoke Beauty

Head to Toe: Top and slacks, handmade by Cynthia Loynd // Wedges, Tommy Hilfiger // Bag, Steve Madden

My super-talented mom sewed me this outfit (which I'm officially obsessed with) as a gift, and I had the perfect occasion to wear it at CTC&G's Innovation in Design Awards. It's perfectly tailored and truly bespoke (a word that's often thrown around in the design world), so I got a lot of compliments on it at my magazine's annual awards celebration. I'm so lucky to have such a talented, and stylish, lady for a mother—just in case you were wondering where I got it from. *winky emoji* A huge thank you to her!

On another note, you may have noticed a slight change in the format of New England Romance. I was feeling like my daily outfit posts were becoming a chore (and often a snore?), so I decided to do some restructuring. You can now see my outfit posts every Sunday (and follow me on Instagram for more #ootd's), along with more thematic posts during the week focused on trend reports and weekend fun. What do you think about this shift?
Photos by Alexis of Cheese & Weim

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sartorial Sunday: Weekend Vibes

Head to Toe: Top, Zara // Shorts, Gap // Sandals, Reef // Hat, American Eagle

Sunday night sigh...After a particularly relaxing weekend, the work week has snuck up on me again. But after some time with friends and a little good ol' pampering (an overdue mani/pedi happened), I'm feeling rested and ready. I devoted today to some much-needed me time. I woke up and read my Sunday paper over Saturday's leftover quiche cups, then headed to the beach for some sun. I threw on jean shorts and long sleeves over my bathing suit (it's usually breezy by the water but surprisingly wasn't today) and slipped into my super-comfy Reef sandals. I tossed my beach blanket and some reading material into a roomy Design Within Reach tote—a freebie from a work event—that's the perfect-sized catch-all. With a wide-brimmed hat and shades, I didn't need a stitch of makeup. I even spritzed salt spray into my hair to fake some beachy waves (because if you have ever seen Long Island Sound you understand why I wasn't actually swimming). After a few hours at my cozy local beach I wrapped up the day at a yoga class taught by one of my favorite instructors. It must be all that zen; I'm not even mad about this whole Monday thing...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hump Day Favorites: Text Appeal

Shirts (clockwise from top left): Sweatshirt, Andrew Neyer // Dolce & Banana, Lifestyle Merchants // Nope, Etsy // Over it, Ten Sixty Sherman // Running late, Forever 21 // My neck my back, Skreened // Don't worry, The Vintage Twin // Jeep hair, Etsy // Guac bottom, Modcloth // Stay in bed, OnePiece

Some days, when you don't feel like talking, it's best to let your outfit say the words for you. Okay, who am I kidding? I always feel like talking, but I'm still into these tongue-in-cheek tee-shirts. I scoured Keep and Fancy for the best ones (Jeep hair is particularly close to my heart)—ironic to punny. My favorite part about these tops is that they're perfect for weekends paired with ripped jeans, leggings or shorts, and they can also look chic tucked into skirts or under a blazer for work. See how I've styled graphic tees in the past here and here. And check out more ideas I nabbed off Pinterest below. Happy texting!
Her Campus
Who What Wear
Lovely Pepa

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Sartorial Sunday: High Low

Head to Toe: Button-down, Marshall's // Skirt, H&M // Earrings, Laila Rowe // Bag, Steve Madden // Heels, Tommy Hilfiger

Happy Mother's Day to all the mamas out there! I made my mom cake pops and enjoyed a lovely afternoon having a picnic in the park with my parents. Monti licked my face, which I took as his way of saying happy mother's day to me. He then proceeded to act like a precocious child and eat some ant-infested potatoes off of the ground. But that's the joy of motherhood! I have so much appreciation for my mamma, who has always been my biggest supporter and friend. I come from a long line of strong women and great mothers. So much love to them.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

TGIF: Brunch Ingredients

Perhaps my favorite weekend pastime is sleeping in and enjoying a late breakfast, or as I so fondly call it, brunch—a boozy one in particular. If you haven't figured it out yet, this is not the blog of a world-class chef, but a loaded breakfast is something even I can DIY. First, I always like to have something savory (like eggs and potatoes or ham) and something sweet (fruit, muffins, pastries). Last week I made quiche cups in muffin tins that are easy and fun to experiment with. I started with this recipe from Gimme Some Oven and put my own twist on it (see GSM's 15 Easy Bruch Recipes for more ideas). The beauty of these is that you can toss whatever you have laying around in the mix, and they cook in 20 minutes. Then, the leftovers make easy to-go breakfasts for work.

The second part is the drinks. Mimosas are easy—OJ + champagne (add vodka if you're feeling feisty)—but I love a good bloody Mary. I'm no mixologist either, but my secret is to use good vodka—I like Titos, and it's made in Connecticut—and a pre-made mix; Trader Joe's makes a good one. Then, add a ton of fixings: lemons, limes, olives and celery stalks. It will look darn close to professional without much effort. 

The final step is to set the scene. A sunny spot is key, as is a cute tablecloth and some flowers. Put fruit in a pretty bowl and orange juice in a glass pitcher. For drinking glasses, I prefer mis-matched cups and mason jars. Wah-lah! Like I said, easy. But, since weekends are for ultimate laziness, going out is another option. I've listed my favorite brunch spots in Southern Connecticut below. Either way, you had me at, "Let's do brunch." Happy Friday!
Best brunch spots in Southern Connecticut: (clockwise from top left) Tula's in Monroe // Walrus + Carpenter in Bridgeport // Source Coffeehouse in Bridgeport // Donahue's in Madison // Rainbow Gardens in Milford // Fire Engine Pizza Co. in Brigeport // Photos from Instagram @style_me_annie

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sartorial Sunday: Blue

Head to Toe: Blouse, Marshall's // Jacket, Target // Skinnies, hand-me-down // Flats, American Apparel // Necklace, Laila Rowe

Fashionistas, let me introduce you to my new go-to outfit (you know, that ensemble that you can literally wear to anything and throw on in less than five minutes?). This all-blue number is dressy enough for work or cocktails and comfy for walking or desk-dwelling, plus on-trend with tone-on-tone style. It works without the jacket too, which is a good thing considering it is finally warming up around here. Hello outdoor eating, beachside walks, barbecue, lunchtime picnics—insert heart-eyed emoji.