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Outfit: Pastel Plaid Scarf








popover // bow // skirt (old, last seen here) // scarf (old, love this one and this one) // tights // boots (old, similar) // bag


Since returning to Florida, I haven't really missed winter. I don't miss freezing in my Florentine little apartment and how it took twenty minutes to pile on everything and get out the door. And I definitely don't miss wearing tights every day. I do, however, miss layering and all of the fun accessories. So, it was nice to break out some of my favorite winter accessories again last weekend in NYC.

I wore my new pink gingham popover with my favorite pastel plaid scarf. I kept the rest of my look simple with black, but added a touch of pink with my sunglasses and gorgeous long gloves I purchased in Prague. This was also the day that Emily and I had our hair done at the TRESemme style studio, so I had a fun braided faux-hawk to complete the look.


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Ashley B
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The Upper East Side









coat // Zara dress (old, but I love these embroidered dresses here and here) // gingham shirt // sunnies // tights (not pants) // heels (also obsessed with these) // bag

Hey Upper East Siders. Ashley here to share with you what I wore for my favorite day in NYC. Spotted brunching at Sarabeth's, feeding the ducks in Central Park, and gossiping on the steps of the Met, Emily and I spent all day Friday living out our Gossip Girl fantasy, complete with coordinating bright ensembles. I mean, who do we think we are, Blair and Serena? Yes! For a day at least.

In the immortal words of Blair Waldorf, "fashion is the most powerful art there is." "It's art, history, and culture, everything I love." Blair gets me. And we honored B and S's appreciation of and influence on fashion with our matching bright yellow and pink coats. E channeled the Upper East Side's love of all things prep with a white skirt, pearls, polo sweater, and loafers. And I honored Blair's bold style with a little print mixing, unexpected color combo, and some fab sunnies. If only I had remembered to pack my favorite headband!

Whoever said money doesn't buy happiness, didn't know where to shop. Fortunately, I do and you can shop some of my favorite signature Blair styles below.

You know love me, XOXO.


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Postcards from NYC





I had an absolutely fabulous time in New York City this past weekend (well, long weekend) and that is mostly because of my amazing tour guide Emily. I have been to New York several times throughout my life and covered most of the major attractions - the Statue of Liberty, the Met, Guggenheim, MoMA, Times Square, Empire State Building, Grand Central, etc. - so I was happy to relax and just enjoy the city with Emily.

I arrived mid-morning Thursday, and after checking into my adorable little boutique hotel, The Blakely, I met up with Emily in Tribeca to head to the TRESemme hair studio. It was the last day of fashion week and we wanted to take full advantage. We emerged fabulously coiffed and headed for lunch at Balthazar, which was probably one of the best meals I have had in a long time. We worked off lunch by exploring (and shopping in) SoHo. Eventually, we made our way to the original Magnolia Bakery in the West Village, because we had to have some of their famous banana pudding. After several hours of exploring and taking pictures, I was exhausted from travel and headed uptown to my hotel to relax for the evening (I had been up since 4 am to catch my flight!).




The next day Emily and I decided to live out our Upper East Side Gossip Girl fantasies. We brunched at Sarabeth's (where I met Emily's friend Kate who joined us for part of the day), strolled through Central Park (naturally by Blair's duck pond), stopped by the Plaza, and sat on the steps of the Met (which we also went inside to see the costume gallery and the newly open Le Brun exhibition). After being spotted on the steps of the Met, we headed to Ralph's Coffee to refuel before our appointment on The Top of the Rock.

The Top of the Rock was great and I highly recommend it. It's a perfect view of the city and photo op. After another long day, I grabbed some sushi to go and headed to my new hotel, Le Parker Meridian, to review my notes for my interview the following day.


The next day was the day of my big interview. I was full of nervous energy, so I headed back to Central Park to walk it off. After my interview was over, I did a bit of window shopping down Madison Avenue before heading to Mood (which, sadly, was closed). I also stopped by J.Crew and picked up this adorable gingham lined jacket (pictured above), but more on that later.

That evening I met up with Emily who took me to the most delicious Mexican restaurant, Toloache (in Midtown). We drank fancy margaritas and indulged in a lot of guac and mole. After dinner we strolled through Times Square and headed to Junior's for their famous raspberry swirl cheesecake... because when in New York!




For my last day in the city we started our day brunching at Two Hands in Little Italy before exploring the Lower East Side (where we found the cutest heart wall) and heading down to the Brooklyn Bridge. Thank goodness we got lucky with the weather, it wasn't sunny but we were so happy it wasn't freezing on the bridge. We strolled across, stopping along the way to take a million photos. Afterwards we made a brief stop in Emily's neighborhood, Wall Street, before I had to head uptown and catch an Uber to the airport.

Hopefully I will have good news to share soon as a result of my interview (although, it didn't go spectacularly, so I am not getting my hopes up). But either way, I had an amazing weekend and made a lot of fabulous memories!

XOXO
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Outfit: Rose Kicks







dress // blazer (old, similar) // sunnies (and in pink here!) // kicks // bag

I am currently obsessed with this Kate Spade rose print. I love this dress and this skirt, which was the inspiration behind the fabric I designed and used to make a pleated skirt. As soon as I saw that the print had been released in Kate Spade's line of Keds, I was sold. I love a pair of cute kicks and these will go great with both skirts and shorts/pants.

I also loved the way Kate Spade styled the pink rose print with black and white stripes. Enter this versatile ponte knit striped dress. I purchased it ages ago and it has been my go-to comfy dress since. It could not be easier to wear. I was so happy to see that J.Crew just re-released it in two colors! A perfect stripe, flattering cut, and utilitarian fabric make it a wardrobe MVP. To complete the look, I topped it with my favorite pink linen blazer.

I am back in Florida this morning after an incredible weekend in NYC. I was so lucky to have an amazing tour guide and I promise to share more tomorrow.

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NYC or Bust



What a crazy week! I am leaving super early for New York City this morning, so I spent the last couple days trying to get caught up on everything before I left (which didn't leave much time for blogging). I have also been prepping like crazy for this big interview I have (that's why I am headed to NYC). I hope to share more soon (cross your fingers it's good news), but for now I am sworn to secrecy.

I have been a huge ball of nerves over this interview all week. And while I feel super prepared and ready, I have put a ton of pressure on myself, since getting this would be a game-changer for my career! But I have to remind myself not to get too worked up and not to put all of my eggs in one basket. It's hard, however, not to get overly-excited when a huge opportunity presents itself.

The good news is that this trip won't be all work and no play. I am making a long weekend out of it so I can enjoy the city. I am excited to meet up with Emily (doesn't she have the most gorgeous blog photos?) who I became friends with in Florence last spring. It is always nice to see a city with a local.

I realized that with all of my European travel, I haven't been to New York since college! Bring on all of the great food and sights. Although, I am not looking forward to the chilly weather.

In other news, J.Crew released more spring arrivals yesterday and I couldn't help but purchase these gorgeous floral lace up flats, which are surprisingly comfortable. They finally brought back my all-time favorite weekend dress in two colors (I will be ordering the red and navy), and I also snagged this adorable light pink gingham popover. Speaking of gingham, I spotted these fantastic navy gingham wedges on the J.Crew Factory website, but they are already sold out in my size. I am so sad. If anyone finds a 7, please let me know!

And make sure you follow me on Snapchat (HinHH) to see all of my NYC adventures.

Arrivederci!
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Outfit: Romantic Lace







dress // bag // sunnies (similar) // heels

When I first saw this dress at Nordstrom, I just assumed it was another one of BCBG's fabulous (but pricey) lace dresses for spring (it reminds me of this gorgeous number). The dress is impeccably made and the delicate bell sleeves are the perfect romantic touch. So you can imagine my shock when I looked at the tag and it was half the price I expected to see.

I couldn't resist pairing it with my new favorite purse and my bright fuchsia sunnies I picked up in Milan. Oh and these backless, strappy nude pumps are an amazing deal. They go with literally everything and will make your legs look longer and leaner.

This dress makes me excited for spring... like I should be sitting in a field making a flower crown and sipping some bubbles... maybe next weekend.

I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day. I have a very exciting (and nerve-racking) week ahead. I can't reveal much, but I can say that just one interview stands between me and what might be the biggest career opportunity I have ever had. I am crossing all of my fingers and toes.

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What is Valentine's Day?


I will be featuring this gorgeous lace dress next week - It looks like BCBG but is half the price!

You might think that I am anti-Valentine's Day because I don't have a significant other, or because it's a Hallmark holiday. Nope. I don't like Valentine's Day because it competes with my birthday, which is clearly the more important holiday... kidding, mostly.

Because my birthday falls the day before the day of love, I am forever fighting for reservations for my favorite places to celebrate. And friends often already have plans with their significant others. I particularly hate with V-Day falls on a Sunday, because then everyone wants to celebrate the day before. I know, I know, the struggle is real lol. 

I am not sure if it's just because my birthday is the day before, but I have never really been that into Valentine's Day. I think the history is interesting, but the modern-day holiday has never excited me. Although, spending Valentine's Day in Verona last year was a really neat experience. Talk about a celebration of love.

I guess it is nice that the candy industry is in full swing for my big day.

This year I am keeping my birthday low key, just a fun night out with girl friends and some birthday brunching. I guess you could say we are ready to paint the town rose... or better yet rosé!


PS - Speaking of Kate Spade, their presentation is today. I can't wait to see what they show!
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Outfit: Coming up Roses







Zara jacket (similar here and here) // top // skirt (sewn, inspiration piece here, fabric available here) // bag // Celine sunnies (similar) //  heels (very comfy!)

I am so excited to share this outfit because it features my very first sewing success - this rose print box-pleated skirt! I basically fell head over heels for all of Kate Spade's most recent release, but I especially loved the abstract rose print. So I decided to make something similar! Once I digitally painted the roses, I created a repeating pattern and uploaded it to Spoonflower. They printed my custom fabric and when it arrived, I immediately got to work.

After watching tons of Youtube tutorials on pleating and skirt pattern making, I settled on a simple, large box pleat design. This skirt was surprisingly easy to make, and despite my first try coming out way to small (measuring is hard), my second skirt was close to perfection! I think I am officially addicted. With the ability to design your own fabric and my new found sewing skills, the sky is the limit! Next I will be tackling a cropped, short-sleeve top and matching full skirt.

The good news is that Spoonflower allows you to publish and sell your fabric designs. So if you're interested, you can purchase this fabric here!

So what do you guys think? I have to admit, I am pretty proud of myself!


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IKEA Sewing Table







table // casters // sewing machine (at Amazon here)

As you might have guessed from my most recent snaps (HinHH on Snapchat, warning there are also a lot of cat snaps), I am finally learning how to sew!

I am so excited. I have always wished I knew how to sew. I actually started learning with a friend just before I left Florence, and my friend Kelly in Tampa has agreed to continue my lessons. I am also supplementing these more formal lessons with a lot of DIY YouTube tutorials. Seriously, you can learn so much with just YouTube.

Now you might be wondering how I have time for this, you know with my dissertation, Etsy store, teaching/grading, and blogging (I am tired just typing all of that). I don't have much free time, but I am trying to replace my mindless TV watching with sewing (and TV watching lol). I think it will be a better outlet for me and exercise the other half of my brain (sewing is actually a lot of engineering and math lol).

I was so lucky and scored this amazing Singer Sewing machine, at Home Goods of all places, for just $129! The hardest part of learning to sew was finding the space I needed to do so in my tiny apartment. Once again, IKEA to the rescue. I saw this folding table and knew it was perfect. All I had to do was assemble. I added some casters to the feet to make it even more small-apartment friendly. It takes up virtually no space when folded down and fits perfectly under my TV in the bedroom. But when I need to work, it folds out into a massive table, which is perfect for placing and cutting out patterns. It even has pretty good storage for its size. So far, I am able to fit all of my sewing accoutrements in the six small draws.

So what do you think of my new sewing table? If you are learning or know how to sewing and looking for a really practical table (or craft table in general) I highly recommend this one!

I will be sharing more on my first successful sewing creation soon (hint: you can see it in these pics)!


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