7 Chic Pieces for a Rainy Day from Hunter x Target

The latest designer collab with Target is rainy-day chic!

Target has been known for its chic designer collabs popping up in stores, from Lilly Pulitzer, Victoria Beckham, and Magnolia’s Chip and Joanna Gaines, to name a few of the sold-out-within-hours collections. Next up, a fashion and accessories collection with famed British rain boots brand, Hunter.

Arriving Saturday, April 14, Hunter x Target is “inspired by family, festival and forces of nature” for a limited-edition collection “built on a philosophy of everyday adventure and a forecast of fun,” the Target site reads. The collaboration includes boots, outerwear, clothing, shoes, accessories and outdoor gear for the whole family.

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite fun, casual and cute Hunter x Target picks that will be sure to perk up any rainy day this spring.

1. Hunter for Target Women’s Waterproof Rain Boots

How could you do a Hunter collab without featuring their famous boots? That would be totally impossible! Boots for women, men and kiddos will all be available in different colors, patterns and height (knee and ankle length options). K, adding to my shopping cart now.

2. Hunter for Target Women’s Hooded Trench Coat – Khaki

I love this chic trench coat: perfect to keep your ensemble dry on rainy days without sacrificing style. A fun red stripe adds style and color to this hooded rain jacket. Where do I swipe my credit cart already??

3. Hunter for Target Women’s Side Zip Pencil Skirt – Black

I’m absolutely OBSESSING over this pencil skirt. It looks perfect for work hours as well as for after-hours and weekend days. Must-have list, for sure. And it’s black, so it’ll go with everything. Win-win.

4. Hunter for Target Small Pouch Bag

Available in a variety of hues, this small clutch is absolutely adorable to carry all your necessities for those days when you can’t lug a big tote (see below) around. I’m personally fond of the black and red options.

5. Hunter for Target Outdoor Blanket

Even though I’m not the most outdoorsy person, I find this outdoor printed blanket (in both red and blue patterns) to be absolutely perfect for a summer picnic or curling up with a book under a tree in the park. Sign me up!

6. Hunter for Target Rubber Handle Tote Bag

Walk around town carting all your belongings in this big bright tote that can hold it all. I think this would be absolutely perfect for my family’s vacation up in Idaho this summer, especially when we go up to the lake for a day! It’ll perfectly hold all of our beach belongings, while looking super cute. Or just using while running daily errands. Either works.

7. Hunter for Target Bubble Umbrella

Stay dry with the large and bright umbrella to keep your look in tact when it’s pouring out. It’ll add some much needed cheer on those dreary, rain-filled days! Cute and practical: just what I’m looking for in an umbrella!

March/April 2018 Reading List

After quickly completing my January and February reading lists, once again I was on the hunt for some new reads. And so, what naturally follows? Heading to Barnes & Noble to browse through every single fiction aisle and shelf and see what strikes my fancy, naturally. And boy, did I find enough. Armed with a heavy bag of new books, I left the store ready to begin these new reading adventures.

“Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure” by Amy Kaufman

This nonfiction debut book from L.A. Times writer and self-proclaimed “Bachelor” fan, Amy Kaufman. Kaufman researched and interviewed experts to find out what really goes down in the Bachelor mansion while filming the hit reality franchise, and exploring why we all turn in week to week to watch it all unfold.

As an avid watcher of the franchise (lol could you tell from this blog??) and its fictional counterpart “UnREAL,” I was definitely as intrigued as I read the revelations from Kaufman’s original New York Post excerpt. I was curious, and so: reading list, here we go!

It wasn’t until Lifetime debuted “UnREAL,” that I even truly comprehended that something like “The Bachelor” or other reality shows were so produced. (I always knew they were scripted ala “Kardashians” but the dirty deeds of production? I was completely in the dark like most members of Bachelor Nation.) This book truly opened my eyes to how one of my ultimate guilty pleasures, so from now on (like Becca K’s ex showing up on this recent season? Come on.), in the name of media literacy, I can now comprehend what is actually going on and take the show as it is (a pleasure-filled dramatic television series) with a grain of salt. An interesting look at the psychology of a popular television franchise, how it gets made, and why we continue to enjoy watching such a trainwreck of drama.

“The Recipe Box” by Viola Shipman

The recently released novel explores the life of Sam, a busy sous chef for a hot New York bakery. Her life isn’t going as she planned, so she returns home to her small Michigan town to take inventory of her family’s orchard and pie shop. There, she discovers secrets and memories of her family, one recipe at a time in the heirloom recipe box. The inside cover continues, “As Sam discovers what matters most in her life, she opens her heart to a man she left behind but who now might be the key to her happiness.”

It seems intriguing, with a hint of cheesy romance often found in corny Hallmark romance movies. I’m in.

 

 

“Young Jane Young” by Gabrielle Zevin

The new novel by “The Storied Life of AJ Fikry” author illustrates the world of protagonist Aviva, a former congressional intern who was once the center of a political scandal that now may threaten her own bid for political office years later. The inside summary reads that this novel is a “smart, funny, serious, and moving novel about the myriad of ways in which roles are still circumscribed for women, whether they are young, ambitious interns; mothers attempting to steer their daughters through a male-dominated world; political wives facing an age-old knowledge that fidelity isn’t always honored; or young girls feeling bold about their many choices before they release the gender restrictions all around them.”

Seems interesting, especially as it tackles important issues that women still face everyday. Andddd… to page one we go.

“Hot Mess” by Emily Belden

In this installment of Miranda Reads Cheesy Millennial-Type Novels, Emily Belden’s “Hot Mess” seemed to intrigue me in such a way. The story centers around Allie, a twentysomething who is so infatuated by her love for sought-after, culinary genius Benji, despite storied past struggling with addiction and living an often-reckless lifestyle. When he is offered the job of a lifetime in creating a hot New York restaurant, Allie follows her love and takes a giant leap: investing her life savings in the establishment. What happens when Benji takes off on a relapse, leaving Allie alone with “nothing but a massive withdrawal slip” and an approaching opening day. She is suddenly thrust into the “world of luxury and greed, cutthroat business and sensory delight. Lost in the mess of it all, she can either crumble completely or fight like hell for the life she wants and the love she deserves.”

Seems promising and interesting to say the least, in a typical Millennial-centric novel, but let’s give it a shot.

“Needles and Pearls” by Gil McNeil

I was fascinated by Gil McNeil’s “Needles and Pearls” novel, which focuses on widow Jo, a year after her husband’s death, where she is finally getting used to being a single parent to her sons and her yarn shop is doing quite well to boot. But then, a man from her past arrives as well as a new romance with a local carpenter develops to “make life a whole lot more interesting.” The book tackles if Jo can “cope when things get complicated.”

Hm, tell me more… Guess I better read to find out?

 

 

 

Keep on reading! 💖

What Happens When a Natural Makeup-Type Girl Tries a Bold Beauty Look In Real Life

Following up on part one of my blog post about trying a non-traditional, bold lip color for me, a girl that tends to stick to the neutral and natural look, my test continues here: where I wear my new purple MAC “Evening Buzz” matte lipstick out and about, as I go about my day-to-day activities within the city of Manhattan. How will it go? Keep reading to find out how I feel, the potential confidence I’ll need in order to pull it off, and if I get any strange or positive reactions from strangers I pass? Let’s try this and see how it goes…

It is such an edgier look for me, so I needed to make sure I found an edgy or trendy-enough outfit in my closet that would somewhat go with the lip color. (I mean, it was one thing to see how I felt and others reacted to the lip color alone? But if it doesn’t go with my outfit? I’m afraid of looking foolish, clown-like.

Some thoughts before I begin: I think I’ll need to have a lot of confidence to walk outside with *shudder* purple lipstick; and I’m nervous about that, because I normally walk with my head down and with purpose to get to my destination as quickly as possible to avoid drawing any attention to myself. So, this is definitely new for me: not just wearing the purple hue on my lips, but acting like I have complete confidence in myself when trying something new and different.

My nerves are kicking into overdrive as I prepare to apply my new lipstick. But, I’m trying to face more of my fears, one thing at a time, on this blog, so I want to cast those nerves aside; and so, I swipe on the lilac hue and walk out my apartment door.

HERE. WE. GO.

Taking My Test Into The Real World

The first application is always the hardest…

I had to remember to breathe as I walked down the street, my mind couldn’t help my wonder if I could pull off such a look like the throngs of trendy Manhattanites do everyday.

…And here we go.

My February Reading List

Well, my January reading list was completed super quickly… so, new books? I think so.

“By The Book” by Julia Sonneborn

Chronicling the ordinary life of a literature professor up for tenure at a small college… until her ex-fiance shows up as the new president of the university! Our protagonist is forced to wrestle her current and former feelings while keeping her head above water at work, with her family, and with the new guy she started seeing. How will it all play out?? Hmmm…

I absolutely adored this “ode to bookish girls… and the men who love them.” Side note: for someone like moi, who isn’t too ooey-and-gooey mushy with my feelings all the time, this has hands-down one of my all-time most romantic scenes ever. And it happens twice: *cue me squealing.* (So, future whoever-you-are, take notes. Lol.) JK. Ok, back to the 2018 novel, it’s not too cheesy romantic, but feels current and realistic and keeps you turning the page (which I finished in a day lol.). Would definitely recommend to all the book lovers out there reading this! One of my February faves, for sure!

Still Me” by Jojo Moyes

Written as a sequel/follow-up of sorts to the book-turned-movie “Me Before You” (the latter which starred Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin; and the former which made me cry), “Still Me” picks up post-“Me Before You” and sees Louisa Clark as she moves to the Big Apple working as a caregiver to a Manhattan elite-type family.

Of course there’s love and drama, and intrigue (and plenty of all three!) to keep the pages turning. The one plus: I didn’t cry in this book, so seriously thanks Jojo Moyes, my tear ducts thank you! (Because you know, they are such a mess due to other programs and books *cough cough* “This is Us.”)

 

 

“Match Made in Manhattan” by Amanda Stauffer

This was my cheesy Manhattan Millennial read this month. (Also being a Millennial in NYC when online dating is so popular, it’s um *cough cough* accurate.) A twenty-something serial monogamist living in NYC breaks up with her serious boyfriend and tries Match dot com. Capturing a series of bad and interesting profiles, our protagonist encounters a unique batch of suitors to say the least (and as a single girl in Manhattan, I can’t say I disagree lol).

It was cute, and made me laugh-out-loud at the sheer relatability (which idk if it should be??). Definitely a modern-day beach read for sure. Fair warning: while yes our heroine gets a happily-ever-after ending, it’s not the way we all would expect– which I like, because reality isn’t all sunshines and rainbows and every other scripted scenario from “The Bachelor.”

Next up on nightstand:

“Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll

Soon to be adapted into a film from “Big Little Lies” star and producer Reese Witherspoon, the novel describes protagonist Ani’s “perfect life as a lie.” Hmm… After a shocking public humiliation in high school, Ani was desperate to reinvent herself; and it seems she has. Until a buried painful and private secret threatens her seemingly perfect facade and could ruin everything. With “a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming,” this has the potential to be a dramatic page-turner and I can’t wait to find out this secret and if it could destroy Ani’s life or set her free from the truth. Color me intrigued…

 

 

 

“Someday, Someday Maybe” by Lauren Graham

Well, I’m finally going to give the debut novel of everyone’s favorite TV mom (aka Lauren Graham) a chance. I wanted to read for ages, and I finally took the plunge and picked up at the bookstore post-January reads.

In her fiction debut, that slightly is reminiscent of her own experience as a young actor in New York, Graham chronicles dreamer Franny who’s Broadway goals are still unfulfilled based on her set timeline, but she’s not ready to give up yet. We follow Franny who “keeps believing that she might just get what she came for.” And I think I might just get what I wanted with this novel: an adorable read that will be hard to put down.

 

 

Keep on reading, all my lovely followers! 💖

What It’s Like to Wear a Non-Traditional Bright Lip Color For Someone That Sticks to The Natural Look

A few months ago, it was National Lipstick Day and to celebrate, MAC decided on a free lipstick promotion (no catch, just a free lipstick for anyone that shows up to collect). Naturally, this seemed like a good idea and one I’d definitely take advantage of.

So, story time:

As it turns out, there’s a MAC kiosk inside Grand Central (only a short distance from my apartment), so it seemed to be worth it to check out this promotion. And since there was no earthly rhyme or reason I’d wake up at the crack of dawn to stand in line, I called around noon to ask about availability. Turns out, the Grand Central one had been “shut down” (IDK what that really meant), but I could come by now and get one. Utterly confused but hopeful, I schlepped down to the store and saw a short-ish line forming throughout the tiny store. As I stood in line, a few more people followed, until the number of people reached the door. To which the MAC employees (total troopers BTW for dealing with this craziness!) shut the door behind the last person in line and stood guard so no one else could join the line (OR wait in line outside). Because, apparently the cops/military personnel had already shut down the line earlier that morning at 9:30 a.m., when the line snaked through the terminal and blocked people from getting to their train platforms. Talk about insane. I only had to wait less than 20 minutes, and when I was about second in line: there were only about six colors left (they started with over 300 shades that morning): different hues of gray, blue, and purple.

Now, for someone like me, those colors terrified me. I was thinking this free lipstick deal would allow me to choose a pale pink, deep red, or a nude shade (as I typically stick to), but alas it seems the early bird really did get the worm. But, considering MAC lipsticks typically retail for $17 a tube and this was $0, the deal was too good to pass up and abandon my place in line. So, I inspected my choices, which revealed a pretty lilac color. Now, I’ve never ever worn purple lipstick in my lifetime, but I love the color purple in general and have seen social media trends starring this shade, so why not? Let’s give it a shot?

Now armed with a purple “Evening Buzz” matte lipstick in my makeup bag, I wanted to try it out. Not just snapping a few pics in my apartment to see how it would look on me, but in the real world — wearing *gasp* an edgy makeup look (something I never do), because as you know, I tend it to keep it au natural when I wear makeup at all. So what was it really like to swap my Plain Jane beauty rituals for something a bit more edgy?

Testing 1, 2, 3

First steps, time to test, to see how it looks on me before I go out in public with such a look. I swipe on the purple shade and inspect my handiwork in the mirror.

It’s definitely edgier than I’ve ever worn before, you can say that again. But, the color is actually really pretty, but will it feel ridiculous out in public? Will I look foolish with bright purple lips? These are the questions that cloud my brain as soon as I swiped on the sample. But the point of this blog is to try something new, so here we go, trying something new…

What’s next? I’m going to attempt to go out in public with my new shade and document it on here.

Disclaimer: I’ve been holding onto this post for awhile because that means I have to ditch my natural makeup routine and try something new and bolder, something that requires more confidence than I’m afraid to admit I don’t yet possess about myself in comparison to others around me. Now, I’m not trying to change who I am, but merely I just don’t want to be afraid to try new things; things that are outside the comfortable bubble that I live my daily life inside. And by posting this article, it’s a way to hold myself accountable to physically try it, and not wuss out at the last minute, as I’ve been doing for months already. And one step into gaining that confidence about myself? Taking a chance, trying new things. And that’s exactly what I want to do more on this page of my blog.

So, here we go, facing my fears– one purple-colored lipstick at a time…

Stay tuned for Part II, where I take my test out-and-about as I go about my everyday life.

What I’ve Been Reading: 2018 Edition

Unfortunately with a post-grad move to a new city and a new job, 2017 didn’t leave much time for recreational reading (well, other than “What Happened” by HRC). And so, with the arrival of the 2018, I knew I wanted to started my favorite pastime up again. That, and a good book can instantly relax me. Here’s a quick peek of my recent reads on my nightstand.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Literally as soon as the credits rolled on the final episode of “Big Little Lies” season one (and I blogged my thoughts thereafter, naturally), I went to Amazon and Prime-ordered the original book by Liane Moriarty.

I knew the series had hooked me. I had to keep watching. And since Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman kept discussing how inspired they were by Moriarty’s work to make the HBO show, I knew I needed to read about the Pirriwee Beach mothers and their kindergarteners.

While you may think, “Hey, I watched the series, why should I read?” It’s a gripping, page-turning story and, as with all film and television adaptations: liberties are taken.

 

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Hailed as a “modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice,” I was intrigued by the cast of interesting characters and how despite being a modern version of a classic, it still felt new and current.

Readers meet Liz, a magazine writer (Hey, I knew I liked it already! Lol.), who lives in NYC with her big sis Jane. When the New York-living sisters return home to help their parents and sisters following their father’s health scare, it seems Mama Bennett has other plans: trying to figure out how to marry off her unwed daughters before age 40 arrives. And so, here comes handsome (and quasi-famous) doctor Chip Bingley, who happens to take an immediate interest in Jane, while his surgeon-friend Fitzwilliam Darcy “reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming… and yet, first impressions can be deceiving,” the back cover synopsis explains. Hmm, intrigued? I know I was.

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

This novel stuck out to me upon first glance and first read-through of the back cover summary. Dave describes how Georgia Ford returns home to her family vineyard in Sonoma County just one week before her wedding to her seemingly-perfect fiance once she learns an “explosive” secret that could change everything. Upon arriving home, she learns that her fiance is not the only one keeping secrets. Hmm, a twist.

This gripping novel tells the dramatic story of family, love and how secrets can tear or bring people together.

 

 

 

You Had Me at Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

This U.K.-set book seemed like an immediate rom-com type book from first glance. And then I flipped over the back cover. McFarlane tells the story of Rachel and Ben, two university best friends and partners in crime from their first “Hello.” However, a decade later, Rachel’s One Who Got Away comes right back and it seems like “the years melt away.”

The back cover reads, “But life has changed. Ben is married. Rachel is not.yet in that split second, Rachel feels the old friendship return. And along with it, the broken heart she’s never been able to mend.” And just like that, I was willing to follow along their journey.

Sort of spoiler, sort of warning: fans of a Happily Ever After, won’t be disappointed in this one.

 

Single State of Mind by Andi Dorfman

On a lighter note for all my single ladies out there, former Bachelorette Andi Dorfman‘s second memoir-type book chronicles her new life as a Manhattanite and attempting the crazy world of NYC dating. It had me laughing at the sheer reliability (which, should I be laughing? Whoops.) and perhaps wondering if that could be a future blog topic on here? We’ll see on that front…

Dorfman’s book picks up where her last left off (post-TV engagement and heartbreak) as she impulsively books a one-way flight to New York City to start a new chapter. She first must deal with the awful situation that is Manhattan apartment hunting and then beginning her life in the city. And what comes next once you get settled, figuring (or attempting to) out the *shudder* dating and dating app scene. She perfectly captures relatable New Yorker life for the single New York girls. A perfect light read to make fun of this crazy life we’ve chosen from living in the crowded little island of Manhattan.

And a preview of what’s next for me on my bookshelf?

From Notting Hill with Love… Actually by Ali McNamara

One: it’s literally named for some of the biggest (British) rom-coms in existence. So, McNamara has that going for her novel.

Two: it takes place in England. Which is one of my favorite places in the world, so that’s a plus.

Also, while it seems like a quintessential romance-type story, the back cover alludes that romantic story is far from easy, which makes it more realistic and something I can appreciate. Color me intrigued to continue reading!

 

 

Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen

The back cover includes quotes such as, “A love letter to New York,” and “Love Actually meets Sex and the City,” and “A story for dreamers, the hopeless in love, or any woman or man in search of a new lease on life.” Sounds like a perfect, easygoing read for this fashion-obsessed Manhattanite.

The Heiresses by Sara Shepara

Hailed as a Pretty Little Liars for adults — I knew this was a must-read for me, especially in a PLL-less TV schedule.

Cut to the Seybrook sisters, a family of heiresses, clocked in mystery in intrigue as they wrestle with their feelings to uncover the truth about the their family before it’s too late. Sounds like the perfect read for all of us that miss the weekly six-season drama of PLL.

 

 

 

 

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

Because all the rom-com-esque novels can get basic after awhile, this family drama seemed equally enticing, especially considering I can relate (cheers to my crazy family back home in the Midwest– love you all).

The inside cover explains how “only the most extraordinary circumstances can reunite the Birch family for the holidays.” While the large family spends their first full family holiday together in years, they all have their own lives. I want to know all the dramatic details when  they are “locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity – and even decent Wi-Fi- and forced into each other’s orbits.” I can only imagine what secrets and drama will unfold. Time to start reading!

 

 

May 2018 inspire you all to keep on reading! 💖

28 of the Best Home Decor Moments from “Big Little Lies”

Ok, I know I’m late to the party– well not late late per se, because I’ve wanted to watch “Big Little Lies” since it first aired, but since I just recently got access to someone’s HBO account (thanks a million, btw!), I FINALLY was able to watch the acclaimed miniseries.

While the series was gripping (OMG that ending!), I kept obsessing over the interior looks in virtually every scene, because hello, that’s me. Case in point:

Celeste and Perry’s outdoor living space

From the dining table and chairs, the place settings, and the living area chairs and pillows, I’m obsessed.

Celeste and Perry’s indoor dining area

OMG, this table, chairs and chandelier!

Madeline and Ed’s dreamy kitchen and island

My literal favorite interior space in the whole series: THAT ISLAND. The subway tile. The pendant lamps. The cabinets. Farmhouse sink. I want it all. MY DREAM KITCHEN.

Madeline and Ed have an amazing exterior

That outdoor living space (both levels). I want.

Renata’s ultra-modern home

Super sleek and modern, plus with a gorgeous view of the sunset from the glass-walled house.

Madeline and Ed’s armchairs and outdoor space

Plus, that dreamy view onto the beach.

Chairs in Celeste and Perry’s bedroom

Perfectly cozy for a bedroom suite.

Celeste and Perry’s walk-in closet *drools profoundly*

MY FAVORITE ROOM: Celeste’s closet. *heart eyes*

A second view of the McKenzie kitchen just because.

And those stools!

Literally the McKenzies live on the beach.

House location on point.

Celeste and Perry’s living and dining area oozes taste.

From the dining set, chandelier, carpeting, and chairs. Wow, it is both family-friendly and stylish.

Madeline and Ed’s bedroom

Start with the white marble fireplace, and the chair, and the bed, and the lamps… And basically I want her whole house.

Celeste and Perry’s entryway

Love the hall table with the mirror to greet guests into their well-decorated home.

Madeline and Ed’s foyer slash living area

Well, basically her whole house is gorgeous. And from the foyer, we get a glimpse of the gorgeous stair railing, entry table, and living room seating. Love.

Madeline and Ed’s living area

Special shoutout to the cabinet design, wine storage, and Abby’s notebooks (because I love cute stationary).

The McKenzies’ sectional and living area

It may be a dark scene, but I love their sectional sofa, chairs, and throw pillows. So chic yet cozy!

Renata’s living room space

It may be an ultra-modern house, but the stylish coffee table and sectional sofa works perfectly for six-year-old Amabella to play around. Also, that fancy staircase!

Madeline and Ed’s outdoor living space

Gah, I would die for outdoor living space. Especially if it came with a beachfront view.

Celeste’s therapist’s office

Starting with the french doors… It’s quaint but homey.

Ed McKenzie’s office space

His standing desk! The etched mirror! The printed throw pillows! The entertainment center! I’d want to work from home if I lived there too.

Seating area outside Celeste and Perry’s closet

A cute way to use blank extra space in the bedroom corner with an L-shaped bench.

Bonnie and Nathan’s cozy sectional

It’s super bohemian (hello, it is Bonnie’s style), but I love the sectional and throw pillows, and the glass lamp. Down-to-earth but comfortable at the same time.

Celeste and Perry’s dining room set

Love the dining chairs, chandelier, and blue striped carpet in particular.

Madeline and Ed’s bedroom set

First, that headboard. The pattered wallpaper. Seriously, Madeline has all the taste.

Madeline’s vanity

I’M OBSESSED. From the chair, to the desk, to the mirrors, I’m utterly obsessed. I want.

Celeste and Perry’s living area

Love the sectional and throw pillows! And the pop of blue on the accent wall!

Bonnie and Nathan’s wall art

Behind Nathan’s head in the kitchen, I love the unique wall art hanging on the wall underneath the sideboard.

The hammock-type thing in Bonnie and Nathan’s backyard

Abigail sits on this hanging thing in the Carlson’s backyard, and I love it. I want one.

Congrats to the cast and crew on its well-deserved award show nominations and your season two pick up. Of course I’ll be watching, and making even more mental notes of set decoration inspiration for my home as well.