i knew it! i knew it!

Philadelphia Magazine: Feb 2014

I first went to Elixr in Spring 2013 and looooved it. And now Philly magazine agrees with my top center city cafè choice!! I am so excited, I kind of feel ahead of the curve a bit.
(coffee snob fist pump)

Read my coffee diaries post on Elixr, one of my favorite places for a cappuccino or latte in the city.
I love the central yet tucked-away location,
 the industrial/minimalist vibes, 
and the pretty terrariums that delicately hang all over.

check out Philadelphia Magazine's February 2014 issue to read more about their top city cafes...
The only one they're missing is this place!

I am about to dive face first into the rest of this issue. ciao! xo


just a few midwinter thoughts

1. Things I do way too much, in obnoxious excess: re-watch Downton Abbey episodes so often that I can reiterate scripts without looking, etc. (it's embarrassing - I'm talking like 3+ episodes DAILY), drinking tea (see above), complaining about how cold it is, eating sushi (it's an odd new fad of mine), clearing snow off of my car.

2. I have been battling a nasty ear infection and it is the worrrrst. This goes hand in hand with me complaining about how cold it is - doesn't it just make sense to associate getting sick with being indoors because it is just too dang cold out? Well. The first few days (!) of my inconvenient ailment, I could barely hear and had to see the doc twice. Even I am sick of myself. I am definitely on the rebound but it is odd just how painful this can be. It's amazing how quick the human body can bounce back, and it's also pretty astounding just how a double-ear infection can take the life out of you.

3. Slowly and quietly, a little spring fever is bubbling about. I think of flowers and get a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Valentine's Day is coming up, and seeing all the pink and red is even getting me all comfy-cozy happy. I cannot wait to take trips to the flower stores, see bulbs sprout from the seemingly frozen ground, and eat Easter egg candies until my heart is content.

4. Current obsessions: see #1, plus my new car (!!!), my electric blanket, new bralettes I've just ordered from aerie, cowl-neck sweater/sweatshirts, which reminds me of the song Sweater Weather; seeing Scout practice new tricks we've taught her, browsing instagram (way too often), anything stripes, my new blending sponge from Sephora, and visits to my favorite pizzeria with the family. We're having a girl date there later today!

5. Lately I haven't been taking a lot of time, but way more time than I have in the past to check up and comment on blogs. I have found so many great ones! I am so excited to be swapping buttons with new bloggers I've "met." Starting from scratch is tough but always so worth it. I love the blogging community!

what's up with you?? ciao, xo


roma uncut

Use the password, "roma" :)

So I thought I'd put some of my amateur videography skills to work in a compilation that is a few months overdue. Obviously I am not in Italy anymore, but it's okay to make a video for Rome, right? So here it is - starring (sort of, not really) me. :) Enjoy it and please applaud me as I successfully toss the remnants of a gelato cone into my mouth. Little did you know, that is about the tenth take!

ciao, xo


cough, cough, cough (grumpy post)

I'm sick! Ewwww! I've spent every day this weekend cuddled under a blanket, with lots of tea nearby,  and something amazing on the tv. (thank, thank, thank you to abc family for airing a perfectly-timed harry potter weekend). I got a lot done for work, actually, which was nice, and was able to just veg out. It snowed a lot more than I expected on saturday so it was a total lazy, indoors day...

before i started feeling like total awfulness

I am reeeeally starting to get sick of being indoors, really sick of the below-freezing mark, and even more sick of feeling like my head is going to explode from all of this pressure. I am pretty grumpy. I've said before that I hated winter, but I am kind of depressing myself because I keep reminding myself that it's only January (well, it's kind of over) and there's so much more snow, so many more sneezes, so many more days of horrific paleness to go. there, i said it. i absolutely detest this right now.




l to r: a half frozen lake nearby my home; a pretty sundown over the philly skyline;
a throwback from a lovely evening stroll in florence; chatting over a latte with my best friend;
sherbet that i would say yes to on a much warmer day; new kicks (nike free! love those);
cold day errands with possibly the best caramel macchiato ever made; sushi dates with my dad.

follow my instagram at @tmango77

January has been bitterly, bitterly cold. Some of my new favorite things are sushi dates with my dad.
Who knew I liked sushi? This is a new development, as of this past summer. My favorite is shrimp tempura.
Is that even real sushi, sushi snobs? I don't know. But hey...baby steps. 
Another new favorite thing of mine is my pair of Nikes. I've hopped on the neon trend, maybe two years too late.
I went on my first run with them last week and really felt like I was wearing air. Does that sound weird?
Other oldies but goodies...my caffeine, evening lights in the city, and of course...italy!

what has january been bringing you so far? ciao, xo


spoiled with snow days

part of this balanced breakfast.
new spring-colored moleskines...how exciting!

The annoying thing about snow days - well, is being snowed in with 5 other humans. EEEP.
But we have a lot of fun. Girly tea time is an all-day thing. Downton Abbey is on repeat. 
And we lazily trudge through work.
I do things in between, like paint nails (which color should I choose by the way?)
and sit in bed surfing blogs.

The other day I realized that I am super spoiled by these snow days...as I now expect them.
When it snows I immediately go into lazy girl mode.
Does that even make sense?
Do snow days affect your efficiency?
Do you love them or hate them?

ciao, xo


pienza dreaming

As I stated yesterday I am in quite a blogging rut, and this collection of cheery, summery photos might just be the dose of inspiration I need. Pienza! A little commune in Tuscany right outside of my favorite, Siena. Photos from 2011.

When I think of Pienza...I think of penne alla vodka. I think of the smell of cheese wafting through the brown-walled streets. I think of quietness and bright Tuscan sunshine over the most beautiful vistas. Quintessential Tuscany. When I was in Pienza, I was studying abroad and I remember not being able to get over the view of the rolling hills of the countryside - the screeching birds that were flying in and out of eyesight. We had a once-in-a-lifetime lunch of penne alla vodka, among other things that I can't remember, made by monks in a monastery. 

It was something that I think back on now and wonder, how did I not write down the name of the place? Maybe all that matters is somehow I finagled the recipe out of someone who spoke to someone - and I can make the penne alla vodka all by myself here! I doubt it will be anything close to that experience though. We watched a mid afternoon thunderstorm roll by through the windows, and ate our lunches happily - "we" being some of the best friends I have ever made in my life.


blogging rut + some plans

Alrightttt, guys, I admit it, I am in a blogging rut. January around here just isn't all that interesting. In a weird way, I'm not bored or unhappy - actually I am finding it more calming than ever. But there just isn't anything that is popping out an inspiring me.  I haven't felt the need to create. I am minding my own business, just doing my thing; going to work, working on work, planning ahead for the future (possible summer travels?!), looking forward to downtime at home, time out with friends, and runs/walks with mom. And the occasional (aka all too frequent) tea time.

as for our potential travel plans this summer, S and I want to take a trip - we are still in the brainstorming phase, obviously. Since I went to Italy (and he did, too!) last summer, we are thinking of keeping our trip domestic, to save some $$$ - and these are just some current ideas we have for the summer.

Well, our top three (and ever changing) ideas are the Florida Keys, and a possible west-coast blend of Seattle and San Francisco. Two really different trips. I am at a total loss, feeling stuck between the two and kind of unsure about what I really want. I have never traveled all that much within the US! Do you have any advice or words of wisdom (or recommendations?!). Basically, the whole conflict is we can't decide whether we want a more fast-paced, sightseeing sort of adventure vs. a relaxing, tropical getaway.

Problems, right? I know.

ciao! xo


a tea party

A few weeks ago my mother threw a delightful English tea party - a perfect dreary afternoon with friends. We pulled out the china and had everything from scones to tea sandwiches to truffles. We went for a shabby-chic style, with mismatched plates and dishes...just over-the-top girliness. My favorite happened to be the biscotti ;)

I blow up my twitter feed on Sundays with updates and thoughts about downton abbey - ugh. I won't regale  you here with my downton musings, but I do wish so badly that we could have tea like they do on a daily basis. sigh!

check out the video that goes with this post here! 


ten things

ten things

Ten things that are getting me through dreary January...

1. Korres lip butter, which I never thought I'd love this much. I am finding myself substituting it instead of chapstick - and I love the color. This little pot of goodness is a go-to nowadays...I have it in a lighter shade, but would love to try out a darker, dramatic red!

2. My cross body bag from Coach (similar above). I have never realized how much I liked  having my hands free with a cross body bag. I used to use a wristlet, and even that got annoying. This little guy goes with my black jeans, and is quite slim; it fits a pretty good amount of my stuff. See it here. 

3. Elf!! My goodness, where have I been? I missed the memo on Elf. So their cream eyeliner is a new favorite of mine; I use it more for nights out with friends rather than work, because you can really create a serious cat-eye. The price is right, and it's at Target...so to get ahold of.

4. A little treat to myself in 2014 is a subscription to Birchbox. I have been really excited to get my little box in the mail (I got one for mom too, and it's fun to open them together!). I am still figuring out how it works - I keep getting tea, which I already have enough of - one of the best products I have found so far through Birchbox is the Beauty Protector line. Really good stuff for hair!

5. My first pair of Nike Free sneakers - and my first ever neon shoes - are making me pretty happy. I know this is lame, but workout gear actually makes me want to work out...it's a sure fire way to motivate me.

6. Starbucks! Duh. I have some gift cards to put to work from Christmas and couldn't be more excited. I think it's actually kind of pathetic the effect of the "idea of having coffee" or "sneaking out after work for Starbucks" gives me...

7. Okay, I have a serious obsession with Downton Abbey. And thank the heavens above that season 4 is underway. I think I have memorized the scripts from every previous episode. I have this secret belief that I am Lady Mary to the core (or at least was) and can't wait to see how the season plays out. I already have my predictions and favorites and least-favorites. :) 

8. Jergens Natural Glow foam has been a long time moisturizer I use, because I have a serious affinity for bronzeness - except that this time of year, the doldrums, I am the pastiest and palest and feel just so gross. Jergens is kindaaaa helping.

9. I've found that I am beating my black jeans from AE into the ground from constant use. I have worn these jeans through high school and have just never found the willpower to switch to another brand. These just work! And right now AE is selling them for under $30! I might need to buy more, since I am wearing them every weekend, getting good use out of them.

10. My favorite bracelet is an Alex and Ani that my best friend gave to me last year for my birthday. I wore it every single day in Italy and I feel weird if I forget to wear it - it's simple, pretty, feminine, and I love the fact that people ask me where it's from. I get asked that a lot, actually! They're really cute gifts, and very stackable :) Just another thing that is making me happy. 

what's getting you through these ridiculously cold days?
ciaooo, xo


i miss my old blog.

For three years I blogged at a different URL, which I loved and updated almost every day. And due to unforeseeable circumstances, I had to start over (mysterious, right?). I really do miss my old blog. I feel like it's hard to recreate the same flow here, although I am trying my best. The two blogs are really similar in look and nature - I think this one is 'cleaned up' a bit - but now that I am working full time it's increasingly difficult and frustrating because I can't devote the time I want to this blog. Or your blogs. I felt so much more connected to other bloggers and that's one thing I want to work on from this point.

I totally would go back and re-post every single thing from the former Anticipation. But that's lame and a waste of time. So I thought I'd post a few of my all time favorite photos from my old posts, maybe with a snippet here or there. Why not (and in no particular order...) ??

a vase of fresh white peonies I received on my last day of student teaching. 

One summer, I made home made frozen yogurt dots! So delicious.

From my notecard/etsy shop - one of my favorite flat notecard designs. 

this night I discovered how to use a telephoto lens plus shutter priority...

summer weddings. 
another telephoto lens adventure.
  a happy desk.
 one of my favorite summer dates that sticks out in my mind.
october trips to long beach island
an impromptu picture which i think is nearly perfect in its imperfection
i just love the muted colors in this one.
 sweet, sweet summer
 college town
 fresh back-to-school cut
 another one, perfect in its flaws
 the snowy halloween, i think it was '11

ahhh, and that's nothing.