HAPPY FRIDAY, EVERYONE!! I cannot believe it is August 25 already. Why does summer always fly by?! I'm on staff at a school so I work during the summer, but next Monday all of the teachers come back from their summer break and the school year gets ready to begin! In the spirit of this, today's Friday Fix is focused on clothes and desk accessories to get you ready for fall at work. Enjoy and happy online shopping! xoxo
Cord Button-Front Skirt from Gap
When fall weather hits, I am a big fan of skirts with booties for work, and I love this corduroy option! I think the dark navy color would look awesome with a black or grey sweater, and will easily transition with tights for winter (not the W word!! Ugh). It's an easy piece that will pair with lots of different tops.
Available at Gap, $49.95 (currently 40% off with code FRIDAY)
Ideas & Such Layflat Notebook from Denik
I take a lot of notes in the "reporting" slash writing role of my job, so I always have a stash of small, softcover notebooks on hand to carry with me around the school, and they always have colorful, pretty covers. The students love my notebooks! ;) This tie-dye, sunset inspired notebook is a great way to keep a little piece of summer with you at work this fall. And I love this brand because a portion of their proceeds go towards building schools and supporting the artists who create the cover artwork.
Available at Denik.com, $11.95
Cup of Calm tea by Traditional Medicinals
When things get crazy at work, I try to remember to take a little break during the afternoon to slow my thoughts and relax my mind. My favorite way to do this is to make a cup of this tea at my desk. I've tried so many different teas but this is the one that calms me the most. It's organic, smells delicious and I love that each tea bag has a quote on it. It's a nice little break during the day. Sometimes I drink it right before my long commute home too!
Available at Amazon.com, $6.65 for a box of 16
Ello Campy 16oz Stainless Steel Insulated Travel Mug
Nothing is worse than actually getting up early to make yourself a to-go coffee and then having it leak on the way to work all over your clothes. I've had such a hard time finding a cute travel mug that actually seals properly and isn't crazy expensive. When I spotted this guy at Target and saw that it was guaranteed leak-proof, I had to give it a try. And it works!! When I use this mug I never have to worry about coffee spills on my commute, and it keeps the coffee hot (or cold, if you're an iced coffee girl like me!) even during my over an hour commute. This mug is a winner and I love that it looks like an actual mug!
Available at Target, $17.99
Madewell Courier Side-Button Shirt
I saw this shirt during a recent visit to the Madewell store in Soho and I LOVED it, but I held off on buying it because of the price. Luckily for me, I caught a sale last week and was able to snag it for a bargain! I'm glad I did because this shirt is the best. I love that it has fun buttons on the sides. You can keep them buttoned for work or unbutton one or two for the weekend. I think it will look cute left open over a white tee or tied up at the waist for weekend and I can wear it buttoned normally with a pair of chinos for work!
Available at Madewell, $69.50
When Adam and I were researching getaways close to New York City, we kept hearing great things about the town of Beacon, NY. So, we decided to take a visit to check it out for ourselves. We spent two days in Beacon and absolutely LOVED it! There was a great art scene, cute main street, beautiful nature, and a friendly, small-town feeling. We definitely want to go back to explore more! Check out our trip below.
The Roundhouse Hotel
We stayed in a Mill Deluxe room and it was the perfect space for us. It was quiet and cozy, and just a 5 minute walk to Main Street. The price of our stay came with complimentary breakfast, coffee and Saratoga bottled spring water, and the room was stocked with comfy robes, quality toiletries, a large tv, and easy to control air conditioning. The bed was so comfortable - we slept like babies, especially after a long day of travel and walking through town.
Across the street from our hotel room was this gorgeous waterfall and a viewing area with tables and chairs. After our first day of exploring, we bought some beers at Beacon Craft Beer Shoppe on Main Street (awesome selection of beers there!), came back to the hotel and sat by the water for a few drinks before we headed out on a nighttime adventure. It was so peaceful and relaxing, and a great way to spend an evening. Having the waterfall right across the street was definitely a great perk to this hotel!
We ate A LOT of delicious food on this trip! Our first afternoon in Beacon we stopped for lunch at a Mexican restaurant called Tito Santana. The decor inside was bright and fun, with a whole wall covered in a colorful mural, and the menu was full of different Tex-Mex options. We both had chicken tacos, which weren't the best we ever had but were certainly tasty. I also had a side of black beans and rice that was huge, filling and delicious, and Adam had a piece of Mexican street corn that he messily devoured. Their chips and salsa were also pretty yummy! The food was good but it was definitely the fun atmosphere that made this place great. They also have a huge side yard full of picnic tables and umbrellas for some nice outdoor dining and drinks.
After our Mexican lunch we were in the mood for something sweet so we stopped for dessert at Zora Dora Paleteria. They specialize in homemade, small batch artisan popsicles with real chunks of fruit inside. I had a delicious banana coconut popsicle and Adam had strawberry kiwi mint (he said it tasted like a mojito). They were the perfect cool treat to snack on as we walked down Main Street.
On our second day in Beacon, I stopped for a breakfast sandwich at The Beacon Bagel (since I was too tired to get up in time for the hotel's complimentary breakfast - oops!). Their menu was huuuuge and full of delicious breakfast sandwiches, bagels with cream cheese and coffee drinks. My breakfast sandwich was so good, I wolfed it down before I could even take a picture of it. But take my word for it, it was delicious and filled me up for hours.
Later in the day, after spending more time walking through town, we stopped for a quick snack at Glazed Over Donuts, an artisan donut shop. This place was awesome! You could either try their donut of the day (which was Salted Caramel Pretzel) or create your own by choosing your glaze, topping and drizzle. Adam created his own donut and chose traditional glaze, cinnamon sugar topping and a vanilla drizzle. They made it fresh for us (you can even watch them work through a glass window) and as Adam said, "This was probably the best donut I've ever had. It was amazing!"
mAIN STREET SHOPPING
The Main Street in Beacon is full of interesting shops and businesses and is big enough to keep you busy for hours (much more to do than the Main Street in Cold Spring, NY - see my previous post). We had fun spending time visiting shops and chatting with their owners - everyone in Beacon was so friendly to us!
The window of Flora Garden and Home caught my eye because it was full of beautiful, green plants. We went in just to take a peek and it literally felt like an oasis. The air smelled like plants and dirt, it was quiet, and sunlight filled the space. The shopkeeper was so sweet and friendly, and took time to show us plants that would do well in our dark apartment. This shop was gorgeous and worth a visit!
Adam and I are both avid readers so we love exploring bookshops when we travel. We came across a cute little bookshop in Beacon called Binnacle Books that we spent an hour in, just browsing the shelves and searching for the perfect book to bring home. The shop was stocked with both new and used books, as well as some small, "mailable" books that were printed right in Beacon. I ended up getting a previously loved copy of Stephen King's "The Shining" while Adam picked out two books of speeches by Malcom X and the book "It" by Stephen King (scary!!).
On our last day in Beacon we stopped into the cutest clothing store called Reservoir. They had clothing and gifts for men, women and baby as well as some home and beauty goods. Their items are also all sustainably or American made - which I am happy to support!! I ended up buying a gorgeous tie-dye maxi dress (Adam helped me pick it out) that is so comfy and cute, I've worn it three times already! The shop had a good assortment of items at different price points and Adam and I both enjoyed looking around. I wish this shop was in Brooklyn so we could visit more often!
On Thursday night in Beacon, Adam and I visited Hudson Valley Brewery and it was so much fun! The brewery tasting room is right inside its warehouse, so you're actually tasting beer while surrounded by stacks of wooden barrels full of beer. It was a really cool atmosphere, and there was some outdoor seating as well! There were a decent amount of couples and groups of friends there, but it wasn't too crowded to enjoy the experience. We tasted every single beer on the menu and had so much fun comparing what we thought to the descriptions the brewery provided. I can't recommend this place enough!!
After our tasting at the brewery, we ventured down the road to a bar/restaurant called Dogwood. It was a super cozy bar full of locals, and one of the only places in Beacon with late night food. There was live folk music when we got there, which made the experience even better! The food was nothing special, but they did have a great selection of draft beers and cocktails. It was a nice place to end the night - just a two minute walk back to the hotel.
Before we jumped on the train back to Brooklyn on Friday, we stopped at Dia:Beacon, an art museum based in an old factory building and just a 10 minute walk from the train station. Dia was one of the most architecturally interesting museums I've ever been to. I loved how you could see remnants of the old factory while browsing the art. The space was huge with filtered light coming from the ceiling skylights and the old factory windows. We had so much fun exploring the different exhibits (although some were a little "out there"). Our favorite exhibit was a green, neon space in the building's basement - see the picture below!.
After we finished walking through the museum, we ate lunch at the museum's Homespun Foods Café - they had a great assortment of tasty sandwiches and drinks! It was a great way to end our trip. From there we walked to the train station and headed home to Brooklyn!
I'm sure you can tell from all of these pictures - we had an amazing little getaway in Beacon, NY and are already thinking about when we can go back! The people are friendly, the town is beautiful, and there is so much to do and see. I really cannot recommend it enough! We got back to the city feeling relaxed and ready for the new school year craziness that's about to begin.
If anyone has any other day or weekend trip ideas, I'd love to hear them! I kind of love this whole travel blogging thing, and Adam and I would love to take another quick trip this fall. xoxo
Summer goes by so fast, and before it ended Adam and I wanted to take some time to explore outside of the city. We researched a few places that were quick and easy to get to from Brooklyn (without a car) and decided one of our trips would be to Cold Spring, NY.
We woke up early on an August Saturday morning, rode the subway to Grand Central and then hopped on a MetroNorth train. We spent the day walking the town, enjoying the Hudson River Valley views, sampling the local food, and venturing out on one out-of-town excursion. We ended up having a memorable, relaxing day, meeting interesting people and seeing unique sights. Check out what we did below!
The Journey There & Back
To get to Cold Spring, Adam and I took the Poughkeepsie line of a MetroNorth train. Tickets were about $30 each roundtrip and the ride from Grand Central to our destination only took a little over an hour. The views from the train are beautiful - it goes right along the Hudson River! On the way there we saw beautiful blue herons and groups of kayakers, and on the way home we saw the most amazing, cotton-candy colored sunset. Adam was able to get some reading done on the train, and apart from a few drunken college students on their way to party in the "big city" who shared the train car with us on the way home, the ride was peaceful and comfortable.
As we rode along on the train, it was beautiful to feel surrounded by nature, with the lush mountains and marshes of the valley on one side and the Hudson River on the other. When the train arrived in Cold Spring, we stepped off onto the platform and were greeted with peace and quiet and fresh, breezy air. There are signs at the end of the platform that will direct you where to walk - if you head to the left you'll get to a beautiful pathway along the river and if you head to the right you'll be greeted by public restrooms, a cute train depot restaurant and then the town's Main Street.
Main Street Shopping
The Main Street in Cold Spring is quaint and relatively quiet, lined with family-run antique shops, small restaurants and cafes, and a few boutiques and galleries. We didn't spend much time in the shops because we're not big antique people, but we did go into two stores that were pretty cute! The first, and my personal favorite, was Pink Olive, a small stationery and gift shop full of colorful cards, notebooks, jewelry and home goods (they also had a section of super cute baby gifts in the back). The shop was light, bright and cutely decorated, and the woman who was running the register was so nice and friendly. I ended up purchasing the Cold Spring postcard you can see in the beginning of this post and a few greeting cards for my family.
The second shop we visited was the Cold Spring General Store. The decor was rustic and cozy, and the store was full of unique things like woven blankets, cocktail-making supplies, beeswax candles, handmade bars of soap and other locally made items. They also have a little grocery section in the back if you need to stock up on snacks for the train ride home. We didn't purchase anything from this shop, but it definitely had some nice items and a cute, country vibe.
Storm King Art Center
If you're not into antiquing or extreme hiking (the mountains in Cold Spring are apparently pretty difficult) there's not much to do right in downtown Cold Spring for more than two hours or so. To fill the rest of our day after we finished exploring the shops, we decided to take a little trip outside of Cold Spring to the Storm King Art Center (an outdoor art space with over 500 acres of hills, woods, and fields full of sculptures from various artists). You might recognize this place from the Netflix show Master of None (Season 2, Episode 9) - they filmed there in the fall and it looked gorgeous, but it was just as pretty during the summer. We had a lot of fun exploring!
To get to Storm King Art Center from downtown Cold Spring without our own car, we took a Lyft. There weren't many drivers available in the Cold Spring area, so we had to wait about 20 minutes for each ride. Once we did get in the Lyft, it took about 35 minutes to get between Cold Spring and Storm King. The ride was really scenic with beautiful views of the valley and a fun trip over a bridge. Each ride (with tip) cost about $40, and both of our drivers were super friendly and talkative, which made the drive more fun.
The Art Center itself was huge! We spent over two hours walking around and exploring the different sculptures - it was a great hike through hills and fields and even forest areas. You could also rent bikes to ride through the trails or take a ride on a trolley with a tour guide pointing out artwork along the way. There were groups of other people there, but because of the size of the park it never felt crowded. There are also convenient stops throughout the park where you can grab a cold drink, a snack or use the restroom. One of our favorite sculptures we saw was the Three-Legged Buddha. It was huge! The Art Center was a really cool experience and I'm glad we made the trip out to see it!
Food & Drink
We packed our breakfast and lunch for the trip to save money, but when we got back to Cold Spring after the Art Center, we treated ourselves to dinner, drinks and ice cream!
Main Street in Cold Spring has a few different restaurant options - we ended up at Doug's Pretty Good Pub. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but once we went in we found a cozy, small-town bar with awesome stamped-tin ceilings and a nice assortment of draught beers. I had the Pretty Damn Good Burger and it was pretty damn good! It was served on a buttered english muffin, which I was skeptical about at first but actually ended up liking! We both ate up our burgers and had a couple beers before we took a walk by the water.
Right by the water's edge, there's a little ice cream shop called Moo Moo's Creamery. We ended up here after dinner to get some dessert to eat by the water. I had the Cookie Butter ice cream and it was soo delicious!! They serve big scoops here - so the small is definitely big enough. I couldn't even finish it. Adam had his favorite - vanilla ice cream with gummy bears on top! It was a great way to finish the trip before we caught the train back home.
Cold Spring was definitely a great day trip option from the city. It was quiet, peaceful, relaxing and beautiful. If you plan your own trip to Cold Spring, I'd love to hear how it goes! Check out a few more photos from the day below:
Happy Friday, friends!! I'm doing a special LOFT version of Friday Fix today - because they're having a 40% off everything sale right now (use code OHYES at checkout)! And they have some great transitional items to wear from late summer into fall. Check out my favorite items from the sale below. Happy online shopping!
Floral Embroidered Vintage Straight Jeans
I love the little embroidery detail on these jeans - and they look so cute rolled up a few times around the ankles. These would be cute to wear to work on casual Fridays, or even on the weekends!
Available at LOFT, $53.70 SALE
Lou & Grey Venice Dress
This is from LOFT's sister brand Lou & Grey (love their clothes - more laid-back and casual than LOFT), but it's still included on the LOFT website as part of the sale. I love that it's made out of a terry cloth material. I could picture wearing this on the weekends with a denim jacket and sneakers for a sporty look.
Available at LOFT, $41.70 SALE
Twist Back Sweater
This black cotton sweater has a comfy, oversized fit and looks like an average sweater from the front, but has this cute twist detail in the back. Layered over a white tank, this would be cute for work or weekend. It looks so cozy!! I also love cotton sweaters because they're not too thick (I get too hot in thick sweaters) and don't make me itch.
Available at LOFT, $35.70 SALE
Relaxed Slit Tee
I watched an Instagram story of @whatjesswore trying on this tee and it looked so great on her! It's an easy, relaxed fit and I love that it hangs down a bit longer in the back. It could work with denim or leggings - definitely a great layering piece you can use all year round.
Available at LOFT, $17.70 SALE
Ombre Striped Poncho
The colors on this poncho are so cute - I love the ombre effect! It would look great thrown over a bikini as a cover up, or layered over a tank top with denim shorts or jeans.
Available at LOFT, $29.70 SALE
A few months ago, my boyfriend, Adam, sent me an article he had read about a woman who let her husband choose her outfits for a week (you can read about it HERE). "I want to do this for you," Adam said. I thought it was a fun idea, and it was cute how excited he was to do it! So, I said sure! I wasn't too worried that he would pick something I wouldn't like, but I was interested to see the combinations he would put together. Last week was the week! Adam put together outfits (shoes and all) for me to wear each day - starting on a Tuesday because Mondays are hard (LOL!). Check out the results below!
The first outfit Adam chose for me was a Lou & Grey cotton sundress paired with red wedges from Madewell. I never would have thought to wear such bright shoes with this dress, but as Adam said to me, "You've gotta let it pop!" And he was right - I actually really liked the way it looked. The colorful shoes made the dress look more interesting, and it was fun to wear a heeled shoe to work for a change. I used to wear heels to work every day when I worked in fashion, so ever since I made the move to education I've been enjoying wearing ballet flats, boots or sandals to work each day. Wearing these wedges forced me to slow down. I couldn't run to catch the train or bus or speedwalk to grab a salad on my lunch break. I had to walk more mindfully all day, and I felt girlie and put together (although my toes definitely hurt by the end of the day haha).
For Day 2, Adam chose a colorful striped skirt from LOFT, with a sleeveless blouse from H&M and slide sandals from Dolce Vita. The skirt had been hidden in the back of my garment rack and I hadn't worn it all summer. I forgot that I even had it, so I'm glad he picked it out for me to wear! I feel like I tend to get stuck wearing the same outfits over and over. It was nice to be reminded of a clothing item I had forgotten about. This definitely looks like a typical summer work outfit I would put together myself - I was comfortable all day. "I picked this outfit because it was a hot day. I liked how it was simple with a splash of color and I liked how the horizontal stripes on the skirt coincided with the horizontal straps of the sandals," Adam explained.
Day # 3
For Day 3, my last day of work this week, Adam chose a floral t-shirt from Uniqlo with a pair of skinny jeans from Paige and some sneakers from Vans (I can dress casually at work all summer, which is great!). Adam has a Vans obsession - there's a lineup of his sneakers against the wall in our bedroom - and he got me this pair for my birthday. I knew he was anxious for me to wear them! He even laced them up for me on his day off so they'd be ready to go with this outfit. I probably wouldn't have picked this outfit for myself - I would have thought it would make me look too boyish - but I felt cute and comfortable all day long! "I liked the pattern of the shirt paired with the ripped jeans for a casual end of the summer work week outfit," Adam said.
In the summertime, Adam and I don't work on Fridays (it's amazing!), so Day 4 was the first day of our 3-day weekend. We decided to spend the day running our errands - Trader Joe's and Target. If you can't tell from the picture, it was a sunny, hot day. For my errand-running outfit, Adam chose a lightweight t-shirt from H&M, cactus-print shorts from francesca's, and grey Vans. He gave me these cute shorts for my birthday this year and I love them! I used to avoid wearing sneakers with shorts because I was self-conscious about my legs looking short and stubby, but I liked the sporty way this looked! "I should be your personal stylist," Adam said. "I think I've got the eye!" Clearly at this point the experiment was going to his head. ;)
I spent my Saturday morning walking through the Brooklyn Flea and then out to lunch with my cousin Kimmy. Then in the evening, Adam and I went to a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game in Coney Island. It was so much fun!! We ate hot dogs, drank beer, enjoyed the game and even saw fireworks at the end! For my baseball game outfit, Adam chose an oversized t-shirt from Madewell, denim shorts and sneakers from Target, and a Buffalo Bills baseball cap (Go Bills!!). It was an easygoing, comfortable outfit for a night at the ball field! PS - Check out the epic photobomb in the background of this picture! :D
Sunday was my last day with my "personal stylist." :( Adam and I spent the afternoon in Manhattan, watching his former student Nico Franc perform at Rockwood Music Hall (he is so talented!). For my concert-going attire, Adam selected a Hawaiian-print button-down from Marine Layer, jeans from Paige, and Birkenstock-style sandals from Soludos. I probably would have felt the need to wear a sundress or skirt for this occasion, but I actually felt summery and comfortable in this outfit. I complained to Adam that this top makes my chest look really flat, and he rolled his eyes (haha!) - it's nice to know that I'm probably the only one who notices that. I know that I tend to be the most critical person of myself.
I definitely had a lot of fun with this little experiment - and it was great not to have to worry about what I should wear each morning. I will miss my personal stylist ;).
I learned that I often get self-conscious over small details when getting dressed, and that I'm probably the only one who notices them. I also learned that Adam tends to choose outfits that are less girlie and fussy and more laid-back and relaxed (we might even go shopping for loose-fitting jeans next weekend!). It's nice to know he thinks I look cute even when it's a comfortable outfit. Adam definitely enjoyed doing this experiment too. He says he wants to do a fall version so that he can use layers (haha so cute)! All in all, this was a great experience. I'm so glad we tried it and I'm looking forward to doing it again!
MEET THE STYLIST
Meet Adam, my boyfriend and the mastermind behind my outfits (and photos) in this post. He likes skateboarding, Vans, buffalo chicken flavored anything, beer, LeBron James, the color green, Harry Potter, reading books, Bonobos, Prospect Park, Rhode Island beaches, dogs, back massages and LaCroix.
Happy Friday, everyone! I am soo ready for this weekend! Check out my favorite online window-shopping finds from the week below. Enjoy and happy online shopping!
Lemons and Leaves Mug by NJsBoutiqueCO
How cute is this mug?! And lemon print has been so trendy this summer! I have a thing for coffee mugs and I think these would be so cute to have a cup of tea in.
Available from Etsy.com
Pranayama Wrap from Athleta
After work yesterday I went into an Athleta store for the first time to help a coworker pick out a new yoga outfit. I was amazed by how many of the clothing items they sell could be worn outside of the gym too! This wrap is made out of probably one of the softest fabrics I have ever felt. I could picture wearing it on laid-back weekends or at home after work with leggings and sneakers. The wrap is even long enough in the back to cover your bum - love it!
Available at Athleta, $89
Indigo Bison Kilim Hook Pillow from Fab.com
At first I was drawn to this pillow because of the Buffalo. I went to college in Buffalo, NY and most of my family lives there, so buffalo hold a special place in my heart. But there are also a lot of awesome non-buffalo print hook pillows on this website that I love too. They would be fun to throw onto a couch! Fab.com is full of unique home and gift items.
Available at Fab.com, $44
Dry Clean Instant Dry Brush Cleaner Spray from Sephora
I know you're supposed to clean your make-up brushes regularly, but I definitely don't. I hate having to scrub them with soap and water and then wait for them to dry. I spotted this dry spray on a recent Sephora run and decided to give it a try. It smells nice and is great for quickly cleaning my brushes - I just wish the bottle was bigger!
Available at Sephora, $14
My name is Abby Formella and I'm a 26 year-old working girl living in the lovely borough of Brooklyn, New York.