February 26, 2015

Florence, Italy {2}

Our second day in Italy was spent very similarly to our first day-- lots of sightseeing! First up was Uffizi Gallery. I was most excited to see the Birth of Venus by Botticelli and it was stunning in person! Uffizi Gallery also offers some pretty cool views of the campanile, the duomo, and the Ponte Vecchio. Who know?



We made the trek over the Ponte Vecchio to check it out and grab lunch of burrata pizza and bacon, olive oil, garlic, and pecorino romano. Delicious. Followed up with gelato - mint chocolate for me and caramel for G.




We ended our sightseeing that day with a trip to Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens. The views were spectacular and the gardens were beautiful as well. 




Dinner that night was at La Giostra. I loved this place. The atmosphere, the service, and the food were all on point. The restaurant was fairly small and low-lit which are two of my most favorite qualities in a restaurant atmosphere. The food was definitely the best we had in Florence and up there for the one of the best meals we had in Italy. Confession: the menu was in Italian (the first menu we encountered that was entirely in Italian) and I ordered steak when I thought I was ordering a pasta dish but the steak was amazing so no harm, no foul. G had steak in balsamic and I had steak in olive oil and rosemary. So, so good. I would highly recommend this place if you are headed to Florence! The place was empty when we got there and packed when we left!






We ended with a nightcap at the hotel bar and then headed to bed for our last full day in Florence. 

Linking up with the ladies for Thoughts on Thursday!
Thoughts for Thursday

February 24, 2015

Tuesday Trend: Daytime Beauty Products

Daytime Beauty Products
L to R: Vasanti Detox Nutrient Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser/Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator/Egyptian Magic/Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Day Oil 

I've mentioned before that I don't wear makeup Monday-Friday because it will just melt right off my face after first period but I still want my face too look clean and bright during the day. Over the past two years, my skin has gone through some changes. My skin used to be primarily oily and now it's more combination of oily and dry. The past few months it has been incredibly dry so I had to make some changes and these products have really worked for me.

Routine:
Monday - Thursday: I use the Vasanti Detox Nutrient Rich Purifying Facial Cleanser and follow up with Egyptian Magic-- this stuff is actually magic. It really saved my skin from the red and flaky look. It starts as more of a salve but turns into an oil when rubbed between your hands. If I am wearing makeup that day or going to the gym, I will use the Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Day Oil as it is lighter than the Egyptian Magic.
Friday-Sunday: I use the Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator to exfoliate my skin after the long week. I follow up with either Egyptian Magic or Dr. Hauschka depending on what I am doing that day. 
I love to hear what products other people are using, so tell me what you use during the day! I have a different routine for the nighttime which I'll share later. I have found that mixing it up between day and night works best for my skin. Do you have a different routine for night and day? Do tell! 


February 23, 2015

Weekend Scenes

We had a pretty low key weekend and considering the snow we were graced with on Saturday, we didn't have much of a choice!

Friday night I played in my faculty basketball game and went out for some drinks afterwards with my coworkers. The game was fun but we lost by 20 points, ha! 

Saturday, G had to work and I headed out to finally get my hair done after way too long! Love freshly highlighted hair!

Before I left the salon, the snow had already started so it looked like this on the way home:

Which meant Macy and I spent a lot of time here drinking hot chocolate and catching up on Girls. Is anyone still watching Girls? I love it and I am enjoying this season a lot so far.
   
I did venture out Saturday night to meet up with G and some of his coworkers. Had to do quite the bundling before heading out but it was nice to get out! 

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Sunday, as is typical in Maryland, the temperatures were in the 40s! After the past couple of weeks, 40s felt downright tropical! G had to work again so I set out to Whole Foods and did some chores around the house. I took full advantage of the nicer weather to wear something other than a sweater and boots!
Jeans (Madewell (old) but I love these), belt (Abercrombie & Fitch from high school!!), shirt (J.Crew (old) similar option here), driving moccasins (Cole Haan (old) similar option here)  

We hit up our favorite sushi spot, Shoyou Sushi, around 5:15 and had dinner. This place has increased significantly in popularity as of late, so if you don't get there early there's a chance you'll miss out. They stopped taking carry out orders about 20 minutes after we got there because they were so swamped! The byproduct of eating so early is that sometimes you're watching a TV show and the characters are eating pizza and all of a sudden you absolutely have to have pizza right now. Immediately. So in a not so finest moment, I ordered us a pizza (which we ate while sitting in bed- pretty sure that is heaven) from Piezon's at 9:15pm on a Sunday.  
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I had a two-hour delay this morning so my week is already off to a good start! I hope everyone had a great Monday as well! 

February 20, 2015

Five on Friday


1. Favorite Dress: Camilyn Beth Go Go Dress. I have been wanting this dress for soooo long! I told myself I was going to buy it for my 30th birthday but I haven't gotten around to it yet. My husband's work gala is coming up in a few weeks and this dress would be perfect. 
Go Go Black Product 3

2. Favorite Bedding: We have all white bedding and while I love the serene and calming look of an all white bed lately I've had the desire to add some punchy sheets to brighten up the room (perhaps this a byproduct of the absolutely ungodly cold temperatures outside). Biscuit Home recently launched their new season of bedding and I think this Bloomsbury print is gorgeous! I really like the pink to kind of keep with the serene and calming vibe while still adding some color. However, I also love the green. I have been really drawn to hunter green and pink together and I think the green set with some bright pink throw pillows like these would also add the brightness factor I'm looking for without overwhelming the white bedding. Thoughts?
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VIA

3. Favorite Print: For Like Ever. I, like so many others out there, have been obsessed with the For Like Ever poster for many years.  The Domino Magazine cover featuring the print has been floating around Instagram lately and it reminded of my love for it! I have bought a few prints that I thought might work over our bed but nothing has really been right. The For Like Ever poster might be the ticket, though! Now to decide which color. I really like the the pink and red but I also like the gold. If I go with the green sheets above and pink pillows would the pink and red be too much? I think it might kill my calm and serene vibe a bit? On the flip side, I think the metallic gold might be a bit too muted for the words "For Like Ever". Does that even make sense? Good news is, I won't have the budget to add these items for a couple of more months so I have time to think about which way to go.
Pink & Red
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Metallic Gold
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4. Favorite Beauty Product: Soapwalla Recover Bath Salts. I've blogged about my love of Soapwalla before-- I've been using the natural deodorant for years. My feet are so tired and achy after standing and walking all day at school so soaking them for a little while in these salts makes them feel so much better. I use the salts the regular way too, in the actual bath, and it makes my skin feel so soft! The smell -- lavender and eucalyptus -- is super relaxing! 
Recover Indulgent Bath Soaking Salts
5. Favorite Quote: That Laura, always on point!
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Happy Friday, Friends! I hope you are staying warm and toasty! I have a 2 hour delay this morning so the pup and I are staying in bed until we absolutely must get out! 

February 19, 2015

Thoughts on Thursday


Linking up with Nat and Annie today!

My thoughts on...


..my profession. At dinner last night I sat next to two women talking about their journeys to becoming teachers. They are career changers, probably 25-28 years in age, and seemed relatively excited about becoming teachers. I have so many thoughts on this. There is so much of me that wants to say, "run! save yourselves! stay in that cubicle! you'll appreciate it on a Friday after too many wines!" but then there is so much of me that feels overwhelming joy and compassion for these two. This job isn't easy and I do not believe for one second that the first year is the hardest. There are hard years and there are harder years but sometimes, every now and then, you get a glimpse of why you do this. For instance, tomorrow is our faculty basketball game verse the local high school and my students could not be more excited to see me play (I suck buuuuut most of them don't know that) and have told me how pumped they are to cheer for me! 
This would something to add to the list of reasons NOT to be a teacher. 
...barre. Before my wedding in 2011, I went religiously to a barre/pilates class at this super fancy gym I totally couldn't afford but justified because duh, I was getting married. Then, I discovered Pop Physique and was hooked on that for awhile. After that, G and I decided that a gym membership was going to be our Christmas gift to each other this year and lo and behold, about two weeks ago our gym added a barre class to the group fitness classes. I went on Tuesday and it reminded me so much of Pop Physique and I loved it. Going again tomorrow and Sunday and can't wait! I was and still am a Bikram junkie but sometimes it is so fun to workout for only an hour and to some pop music! 
...Louisville, KY. G and I are spending our anniversary in Louisville, KY this year. I have done some research and so far I have Garage Bar, Hammerheads, The Four Sisters, Blue Dog Bakery & Cafe, and Mussel&Burger Bar as restaurants to hit. We're also looking into going to the Lousville Mega Cavern. I'd love to hear suggestions from locals or those who have traveled to Louisville on where to go and what to do! 

Happy Thursday!! 

February 18, 2015

Florence, Italy {1}

Feeling very wanderlusty lately so I figured I'd continue with the Italy recaps today!

We arrived in Florence around 11:30, checked into our hotel, and hit the ground running! We stayed at the San Gallo Palace, which was about a 15-20 minute walk to the center of Florence. Like I've said in previous posts, we are willing to walk a bit to the action if it'll save us some money. The only pre-requisites are that the hotel is clean and safe. San Gallo Palace checks both of those boxes. 

  As we headed out to the sites, we were a bit taken aback by all the cars and noise after spending 3 days in Venice with no cars and minimal noise! 

Fun Fact: we walked past a Subway and it smells the exact same way it does in the States. So if you get a hankering for Subway in Europe, you can rest assured that it will taste like home, ha!

The first thing we did on our walk into the city was pick up our Firenze Cards. I did pretty extensive research on the pros and cons of the Firenze Card, and ultimately it was the right decision for us. The card is on the pricey side (72 euros) but the lines for Firenze Card holders at the museums were significantly shorter than that of general admission. Just like Venice, Florence is hot and very, very busy in the summer so this card was a lifesaver for my heat intolerant husband. Here's how the card works: the card is activated at the first museum you visit and then you have 72 hours to use the card. After 72 hours, the card expires (we were in Florence for 3 days so this was perfect). There was one museum we tried to go into that didn't accept the Firenze Card and we could've still gone in had we paid admission but we opted out of that since we spent so much on the card. Side note: FC cardholders do still have to go get tickets at a separate ticket counter in order to climb to the top of the duomo, to climb the Campanile, and to enter the Baptistry of St. John. 

We hit up the Galleria dell' Accademia to see the statue of David. I'll admit I was surprised at how big it was. I guess it's because in pictures it really doesn't look all that big. Like in the picture below. 


We headed over to Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the duomo in Florence) next. We had decided early on that we were going to climb to the top but because I am so scared of heights, I wanted to wait until the next day. We got in line at the FC entrance and waited to be let in to check out ground floor church area. However, when we got inside we were immediately directed up a flight of stairs. We'd barely gone up two stairs when I realized that we were headed to the top. I panicked slightly. I was so unprepared! I wasn't mentally ready to climb to the top! But, I had no choice so to the top we went. I was terrified but the views are so, so worth it in the end!





That night, we dined at Golden View restaurant. Golden View is an American restaurant (there's one in Greenwich, CT). I wanted to go there because it overlooks the Ponte Vecchio. I
 had also read on pretty respected travel blog that the food was really good but I certainly wouldn't recommend going to this place for the food. The view maybe, but not the food. I had the four cheese ravioli with truffle cream sauce which was good but not outstanding. G had Florentine steak that was woefully overcooked. The tiramisu was very good and the highlight of our meal.



Now, here is where the Golden View does deliver-- after dinner we wanted to get a drink but it seems that bars like those in the States don't exist in Florence? However, as we were walking out we noticed a bar with two stools on the other side of the restaurant so we decided to check it out. Well, we ended up having a blast with the bartender Simone who was funny, knowledgeable, and engaging. We loved him! I would definitely recommend checking out the bar at Golden View! 

After that, it was back to the hotel to rest up for day 2 in Firenze! 














February 17, 2015

Snow Day Lounge Favorites


I'm basking in the joy that is a snow day! Unfortunately, it is so cold in my old rowhome that Macy and I are camped out in bed because it is too cold everywhere else in this house. I ventured out yesterday to try to find a space heater to no avail. Apparently, everyone else in Baltimore had the same idea as me. So here we are blogging from bed.
Snow days consists mainly of coffee, tv marathons, reading, blogging, and most importantly: comfy clothes! Old Navy was running a huge sale yesterday so I stopped in and ended up picking up all of these pieces below at insanely good prices! One of the perks of teaching P.E. is that  lounge wear can always double as work wear!



Snow Day Lounge Favorites

Snow Day Lounge Favorites by prissyt 

Clockwise from the top left:
1. Women's Skinny Sweatpants. I've been wanting a pair of jogger sweatpants for quite sometime now and these are great. I'll be honest, I picked up on this trend from my students, ha! Although, they've now taken it too far and are rocking these Emoji joggers and it is truly hysterical.
2. Women's Cocoon Open-Front Cardigan. This cardigan is one of those pieces I always hesitate purchasing and then end wearing it all the time.
3. Women's Vintage Style V-Neck Tee. I'm a sucker for a good tee shirt. I actually only tried this on because I wanted to see what the cardigan looked like with something underneath but ended up loving it and at $5, I couldn't pass it up!
4. Men's Heathered Henley. I often buy clothing items, especially tee shirts and oxfords, in a men's small for a slouchier look. After Hello Fashion posted this shirt with white jeans and the blue scarf above-- tell me she doesn't look the perfect casual cool-- I decided I needed to add these pieces to my comfy clothes arsenal.
5. Women's Lightweight Infinity Scarf. If I absolutely must leave the house, I throw on a scarf for a pulled together look without too much hassle (i.e. when I get back to my bed all I have to do is take off my shoes and scarf and I'm back in chill mode).

Today only, Old Navy has 30% off with the code PRESIDENT!  

February 13, 2015

Five on Friday: Winter Wellness

Hello, Friday. It sure is good to see you again! This week has been insane and I am happy it is nearing it's end! Today, I am sharing what I do in the mornings to keep me sane during weeks like the one I've just had! To be fair, these are things I try to do, they don't always happen but when they do, it sets me up to have a really productive day. 

1. Get up early. Most days, I set my alarm for 5am and for awhile, I was actually getting up at 5am close to 75% of the time. Lately, it's more like 60% of the time but I am hopeful that it will go back up when things return to a (new) normal at work. Getting up at 5 allows me to take my time getting ready, drink my tea out of a real mug, and let the dog have some extra time out of the crate. I can also make lunches and eat breakfast without feeling rushed. Not being rushed in the morning makes my whole day so much better. 

2. Eat a fruit filled breakfast. The husband and I have been on a huge fruit smoothie for breakfast kick. We have been loving this smoothie (minus the flax seed and tofu) from The Minimalist Baker but I was recently introduced to ALOHA which is a website dedicated to making health fun, simple, and accessible! In a world where being healthy has become conflicting and complicated, ALOHA is here to make it easy for everyone! They have a plethora of smoothie recipes as well as a ton of other healthy recipes. I am thinking this Blueberry Fig Smoothie might be next on our list to try! 

3. Stretch. I no joke tell my husband almost every morning that I need to be stretched. I know that thing that Mel Gibson's wife was strapped to in Braveheart was supposed to be torturous and gruesome and what not but if I could climb on and be given like 1 crank, I think it would feel sooooo good. But alas, I don't live in the 13th century so I don't have access to such a device. Sigh. Instead, I try to do some stretching in the morning to help relieve that tensed up feeling. I loosely follow the stretches below but if I don't get up at 5am not all of these are happening so I just do the ones that stretch the body parts that are feeling the most scrunched up. 

4. Read. I try to squeeze in a few minutes of reading before I head off to work. Again, this only happens if I get up early but it helps me relax before going to deal with a crowd of needy middle schoolers!  I recently finished Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead and it was so, so good. I just love her writing, her characters are so nuanced and real. I highly recommend both Seating Arrangements and Astonish Me. I am currently reading Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. Loving it! Reading something in the morning makes me incredibly happy so I try to make it a priority. I also make sure to read my two favorite emails in the morning: The Skimm and Notes from the Universe before leaving the house! 

There you have it! My morning routine that helps me tackle the day. What do you do in the morning to help ensure you'll have a great one?

Linking up with the ladies! 





February 6, 2015

Five on Friday


Linking up with the ladies to talk about my five favorite things on Friday! The fact that it is Friday is probably my most favorite thing right now but here are my other faves from the past week:

1. Favorite Valentine's Day Dessert: I have to admit that I am one of those people that likes the ole love day. It makes my heart happy to do sappy romantic things with my husband. G and I usually stay in and make a big, fancy dinner on Valentine's Day and I absolutely love this tradition. He makes the dinner and I am in charge of dessert. I think this Chocolate Italian Love Cake from Chew Nibble Nosh is the winner this year. It reminds me a bit of tiramisu, which we ate so much of in Italy, but it also reminds me of a dessert I made the first year we started this V-Day tradition. The best of both worlds! 

2.Favorite Workout: Of course, after I've eaten delicious dinner and then that cake above I'm going to need to hit the gym. I've been doing some walking intervals on the treadmill but I need to take it up a notch to really torch some calories plus I have a 5k coming up and I'd like to not be last to get to the beer so I am going to incorporate this pyramid interval starting tomorrow hopefully. 

3. Favorite TV Show: I am really loving Jane the Virgin. It's kind of got a campy vibe going on but it's funny and I think the acting is superb. Gina Rodriquez definitely deserved her Golden Globe win and the rest of the cast is pretty amazing as well. 

4. Favorite Room: I guess this is actually more of an entry way/hallway but I think it is gorgeous! Kate Marker is the designer, check her out if you haven't already, she is incredibly talented. I love the clean crispness of her designs and I think the use of the bold rug is what really sets this room apart for me. 

5. Favorite Denim: A most horrible thing happened recently, both knees of my favorite pair of jeans became so threadbare they finally ripped. I still planning on wearing them since the ripped look is in and all but I think it is necessary to own a pair of jeans that isn't ripped because well, you can't always wear ripped jeans. The jeans that ripped are from Gap so while I was at the mall last weekend I decided to stop in and see what kind of selection the had. I ended up purchasing two pairs of the new Resolution Denim in True Skinny. I am really happy with them! They fit really nicely, have a bit of higher waist, and I think they make my butt look decent enough! The only issue I have is that I wish the ankle were  a tad tighter but do also like that I can roll them up for a different look. I got them in both a dark and light color, seen below. New jeans are so exciting.