golden light

top daydreamer | vest THML | jeans j.crew | booties banana republic (old) | tote street level

Happy Friday! And Happy Halloween! I can't wait to reveal to you the silly costume that I've whipped up - but until then I thought I'd share with you what has turned out to be my f a v o r i t e fall  chill outfit. Comfy, minimal, but perfectly fitting for this crisp and golden time of year. We snapped these photos on such a gorgeous night - I mean, I can't get enough of this natural light in the photos!

Last Sunday we grabbed Wawa hot chocolates (where're my Philly peeps at!?) and headed out to a haunted hayride for what turned out to be perhaps the most quintessential October evening. My very talented sister captured these moments during the golden hour before the sun went down and the festivities of the evening began. By the end of the night I didn't look quite as pulled together and collected - all the creepy clowns and chainsaw massacre scenes may or may not have had me ducking in the hay, screaming! Anyway, the evening was picturesque and the weather was perfect for a slightly bundled-look. I love this faux-leather/knit vest I picked up at my favorite beach boutique last month. It is the perfect thing to effortlessly throw over a tee, and look so put together and layered. I love the texture of it! And I'm really pleased that I am finally wearing in my tan leather booties from last year - they look the perfect amount of aged and scuffed! I couldn't be more pleased!

Another cool outfit detail is this reversible bag by Street Level. It's my go-to weekend bag and I love how sharp the white looks - but black is classic, too! It was the best complement to the faux leather details in the vest. I'll probably be wearing a variation on this theme for the rest of the weekend. 

ciao! xo


on becoming a veggie goddess

I don't know why or how but over the years I have become known in our household as the go-to veggie roaster (I'm a self proclaimed goddess, hence the title). With a lot of practice, pan-scrubbing and spice experimenting I have developed a method of roasting vegetables that really works for me...and the hardest part is cutting them up. After that, it's simple.

Although I've earned some battle wounds while cutting up butternut squash, the veggies I pick are pretty painless and accessible wherever you may be. I love unpacking from a good haul at the farmers' market and cutting them up right out of the bag - and the cutting actually counts. Zucchini, potatoes, butternut squash all go in as thick cubes or triangles, while peppers and onions are thin-sliced. I drench the dryer veggies (I don't know how to explain it, they're just dryer) in olive oil, and give the rest of it all a pretty decent splash. I don't need to add anything except this special spice blend which I found at home goods (honest!) but you can check out their other selections for other things you may roast.

Pop in an uncovered roasting pan, spread them evenly along the bottom (you don't want a heaping mountain of vegetables), and go for 30 minutes at about 450 degrees. I sometimes use cherry tomatoes, beans, asparagus, or whatever else I can find. But I tend to stay away from anything that can burn to a crisp or just fall apart, like broccoli or squash. As for seasonal butternut squash, I add a little brown sugar and butter and cook that in a little pan by itself for the same time and temperature. It is indulgent, pure heaven.

Here's to eating clean! ciao! xo


the last week of october. how can it be?

The weekend - and not to mention the entire month - has defined everything October means to me.
the smoke from a bonfire, the GORGEOUS dusty purple sunsets,
the tailgates and homecomings,
the football games, the dark roast coffee, 
the oranges and yellows, 
the pumpkin and apple overload, the smell of roasting leaves,
piles of pumpkins and gourds, and
the most vivid and stunningly crisp afternoons.

I'm scared of November. Honest.
I don't want October to go...
and the next month brings a lot of busy.
Out of the 6 people in my family, there are four birthdays.
The slip-n-slide of holiday shopping becomes more and more real.
I'm fearful of the amount of money that I will have to spend..ughhhhh. Dreading it.
One good thing will be S's homecoming! And that I can't wait for.
But until then... I'm seeking one last cozy week, 
a bastion of solace and peace, in these very autumn-y photos taken over the course of the month.

I wrote about my october goals at the beginning of the month. What did I cross off?
Not much. But what I did cross off, I am pleased with.
More 'me' time at the end of the day - getting all work done at work, not at home.
Spending quality time with mama (ok, not a dinner date, but does breakfast count?)
Maybe one too many octoberfest brews. A haunted hayride that made me scream like a 5 year old!
I'm kind of eating cleaner - definitely at lunch, but dinners are a struggle.

I'm going to introduce some new goals for November soon. 
Going to soak in this glorious feeling for the rest of the week!
ciao, xo


do what works for you

Happy Friday! We have made it!
- - -
Today's theme is: FALL CLOTHES that are cute on models but unflattering on you.
also: clothes that look better on the hanger than they do you.
isn't it the most annoying thing? 
the thing with fall is all the textures you're reintroducing into your daily wardrobe.
vests, jackets, layering tees, boots, socks, scarves, jackets, pants, oh pants.
like, even the socks above. you'd need to have the longest, thinnest legs to pull those off like that.
with a cute boyfriend shirt, all unkempt, cup of coffee in hand - that undone kind of glamour.

I find myself struggling with the easiest of pieces: jeans.
I recently bought a pair of light wash j.crew toothpick jeans and love them...
so i bought them...and wore them finally.
And I just can't pull off the lighter jeans.
So..sticking with the dark.

Another look I can't quite master: layering.
I love the look of a cozy flannel under a cardigan under a vest...
and it all sounds so comfortable, so fall-y...
but I just get so dang hot and before I know it I am reaching for my drapey urban outfitters tees.
(note to self: stock up more on those).

last but not least: booties.
Ah. The idea of booties, the short-length but high-heeled boot is genius.
But somehow on a shorter figure I feel as though it is a challenge,
because the shortened coverage of the boot creates the illusion of a shorter leg.
So I'm thinking of trying some over-the-knee boots to make some semblance of leg elongation.
thoughts? bad idea?

anyway: what are some of your wardrobe struggles when it comes to glorious fall fashion?
ps. HAPPY FRIDAY! ciao, xo


hello, i'm here!

I've slipped off the radar again! Is 'my computer broke' a good enough excuse!? It kind of broke, but all is well and I'm happy as a clam - I had my first experience at the Apple Store's Genuis Bar and it was, luckily, a successful and satisfying visit. So, instead of dumping all of my current goings-on with you, I'll list a few things instead...

1. October. You are stunning. You are glorious. You are here. Your trees are orange. The fields are rusty-yellow. The twilight skies are purple and dusty. It is absolutely perfect. Cozy cool weather that is not too hot, with the right amount of crisp - even enough to justify a sweater and a hot chocolate. We all know this and it's a topic overkilled by bloggers, but here it is just stunning. We have been so lucky this year to really have seasons. 

2. The running routine. What an up-down roller coaster. Since my last update I feel as though I skyrocketed in terms of positive progress, then went down just as fast. One weekend I ran a 5k, no problems - the next, I couldn't get through a mile without a break or two! It is odd. I think eating right has to do with it, the amt. of water I am drinking (never enough) and so on. Currently in a slump but will get back to it.

3. Weekend therapy with Mom. Don't know how else to explain it - this past Sunday was just the best day ever. I spent it entirely with Mom. Rose early, put on this hat (instant outfit!), made some returns, and had a late diner breakfast. Spent the rest of the day doing typical Sunday things like laundry, cleaning up, packing lunches for the week - but the quality time and conversations and moments to think made it SO rejuvenating of a day. Even through the chores we had to do, we just seemed to glide through and have a wonderful day.

4. 1 month, 1 month. S is coming home in one month!!!!! We have an extraordinarily ambitious bucket list planned out. Stay tuned.

5. Skin care routine. My skin care routine has also been a roller coaster of successes and failures over the past few months. I'm thinking about switching dermatologists - but to make a long story short I have been so self-conscious lately about my skin and breakouts, even the littlest ones, that it's become something that consumes my thoughts. Straight to the mirror! I have decided to physically force myself away from the mirror, and so far it is working. Also: a tub of Clinique moisturizer does the trick. And swiping the tiniest, microscopic dab of my mom's La Mer may be helping too, every blue moon or so...

okay - that's that for now! more tomorrow, ciao! xo


a shift in diet

Probably the worst thing you could assume right now is that I have a major announcement and that I am going vegan. Or vegetarian. Or all organic. Which I am not. I wissssh I had the patience and discipline, don't get me wrong - but a total change like that just ins't in the stars right now. But what is - is a subtle but hopefully effective little dietary change I'd like to experiment with: more greens. 

The second worst thing you can assume now is that I hate vegetables; which I don't. I actually love them. The bowl of broccoli rabe and onion actually has me salivating, which is kind of weird because it's 7:00 in the morning. What I want to do is find the time, the patience, and the discipline I lack by integrating simply more of this into what I eat; actually eating a breakfast; saving the heavy pastas and sauces which I so dearly love for maybe once a week or once every two weeks (I shudder). A more plant-based diet is something I want to experiment because I think that in the summer, when I am actually eating more plant-based foods, I feel lighter and more hydrated and my skin is better. I just want to simply continue that feeling.

on my shopping list:
- soy yogurt
- granola
- peaches
- kale and spinach
- strawberries
- blueberries
- banana
- nuts
- red onions
- broccoli
- squash (perhaps butternut?)
- apples 

Each work week, I eat a variation on a theme: easy meals. I don't necessary pop in a lean cuisine but I do make meals that take very little time and effort such as potato gnocchi with pesto. helloooo, carbs (and heaven). Either that or I eat out (vegetable dumplings from the chinese place, thin-crust pizza, penne with spicy marinara - my guilty pleasure, chipotle). Which is killing my wallet and my green-healthy vibes. So, I am declaring this experiment a time of more green smoothies, more oatmeals (and breakfasts for that matter!), more vegetable medleys and more non-dairy products. The goal is to hopefully see the benefits in my skin and my overall sense of feeling healthy.

The workweek is such a challenge - but how do you deal with it? What products or foods do you swear by? I'm curious to know! 

Ciao, xo



A busy little collection of instas, wouldn't you say? lots of colors, lots of sunsets, lots of craziness and  whimsy. So far the fall has a twinge of summer to it, and I'm not complaining...I'm talking wearing shorts with cute chunky sweaters; having ice cream for dinner; bringing the herbal garden inside via desktop terrarium; gorgeous sunsets that rival the august skies. Our late september trip to the sea has definitely prolonged this feeling, but I feel as ready as ever to embrace the chills of october and keep that little hint of summer breeze in my pocket.

I smell change - it's odd how we change right along with the seasons. Maybe that is what changes us. But I sense it, feel it, in a good way, kind of as a renewal. I feel like I am a little more confident in who I am and what I do. I'm accepting the things that do come and go. Some weeks are great, others are dull - sometimes I am very productive, some days I feel stuck. Some days everything seems possible, others it is an accomplishment just to get home for the day. Ebb and flow.

follow my instagram and along with it, my inner thoughts :) ... @tmango77

ciao! xo


scenes from my weekend

Some snippets from a grey but gloriously simplified weekend. It rained, it was cold, and it was something out of London or Seattle - but it was stunning and relaxing and forced us all to take a breath. After that, plenty of time for shopping - naps - runs - dressing up in favorite trench coats - and admiring the textures of fall!

As you know I discovered j.crew factory (ahhh) and had a lovely time perusing their shelves while feeling quite quintessentially fall myself with my flared trench and black pointed flats. It drizzled all morning, and we spent most of the late afternoon (and night) in front of a lovely crackling fire. Chinese take-out may or may not have also happened.

I needed this break of a weekend, to stop and look around at all the beauty of october. I am loving this month so fall and really feeling appreciative that we get to have all four seasons. Even after the chaos of last winter, I feel so thankful that we've had such a lovely taste of it all. A cool but budding spring, a mild and refreshing summer, and now a crisp and moody fall. I love it all.

ciao! happy tues! xo


fall obsessions at j.crew

all via crew factory \\ fair isle sweater \\ denim \\ dome trio necklace \\ miniskirt \\ waffle knit scarf \\ coat

Happy Sunday to you all! It is the quintessential east coast fall morning; leaves are orange, the temperature outside is downright cold (45 degrees, below avg)., I have a cup of La colombe coffee in my hand and the slow pace of r i g h t n o w is simply heavenly. Can this moment last forever?

Maybe another reason I am feeling so content is that yesterday I discovered the gloryness of the 50% off j.crew factory sale. AND it is still going on.   I know that you all probably swear by j.crew too, but I usually strike out there and don't have luck with it - yesterday by some cosmic planetary alignment I completeeeely fell in love with everything I tried on (which is pretty much all of the above and more). And the best part is everything was HALF off, so I felt like I was getting away with something. I am wishing I bought the necklace and scarf (above) and maaay have to hit up the online sale - but I scored two awesome pairs of skinny toothpick jeans (one light wash, one dark) as well as a loose tee that is perfect for under a vest or light jacket.

I also did TOO well at loft...but that's another story (and perhaps another outfit post) for you later.

enjoy your lazy sunday! ciao! xo


new [monochromatic] staples

I am over-the-moon giddy about some new recent staples I've purchased for fall - classic pointed (and bedazzled!) black flats, oversized glasses and a reversible black and white bucket tote that is seriously perfect for any occasion because it is just that versatile. The bag and the shoes are no brainers...but I am still a little self conscious about the circle frames; they are really big but I loooove them! The feedback I am getting is mixed; "You look like the girl from cloudy with a chance of meatballs," or "you look like a hipster," or "I like them!" is usually the gamut - so it's a yes or a no. For me they are a yes so I guess that is what matters most :)

As for the new staples, they're meant to transition me into the next upcoming colder weeks. We have been experiencing below-normal temps, in the 50s, and it has been refreshing but actually pretty nippy to the point where I am reaching for fuzzy socks and a sweatshirt. It's annoying to me, above all, because when I am cold, looking cute is probably the first thing to go out the window. I need my oversized boy thermals, old sweatpants, and raggy slippers and most of all, a big huge warm blanket! All that and I'm good.

ciao, xo


last sweet moments

Helloooo and happy Wednesday everyone! I am promising, this is my last photo dump from the beach. In an effort to try to reconnect to that good and relaxed pace, I'm visiting it one last time. Oh, the last sweet moments of that weekend. The memories are just so vivid and colorful still. We enjoyed every ounce of it, from breakfasts al fresco to marveling at the resilience of post-Sandy NJ. It is amazing what our little island did to bounce back to life after that incredible storm.

Now that real life has started back up and we are getting further and further into this glorious autumn,  I am feeling pretty good about how I have been balancing work and my life. It's something I worried about in the summer...like, how will I find the time to run and create lesson plans? Of course it has been tough. The one-day-at-a-time mentality has gotten me through it all. It allows me to savor each day.

One thing I haven't been doing is journaling - blogging doesn't count! I need to get back into my poor little journal. That's another goal for October I should probably add to my list...

anyway, how is your week going? anything happening?
ciao! xo


dear scoutie,

Dear Scout,

We know it was probably YOU who went pee pee on the carpet.
We also know that you know we know.
You seem to freeze in utter terror if we approach the carpet and point.
We also know that you love stealing georgia's bones and toys
and letting them hang out of your mouth like a big fat cigar.
You little troublemaker you.

ciao, xo


clean desk = a happy desk.

Over the weekend I found myself doing a total clean up, wipe down, and fall overhaul in my living space. I am notoriously messy, but love de-cluttering and keeping it clean for as long as I can. I find that every weekend or so I need a routine straighten-up, but once a month I do a total purge and simplify everything! There is such a comfort in coming home to a bedroom that has a bed made, clothes put away, and decluttered shelves and surfaces. 

You can see that my workspace (aka my desk) is pretty small. I love how it is backed up to the window, though - i can have candles going, a breeze here or there blows in, and I am tucked behind the prettiest dogwood tree that blossoms in the spring. It is almost full-blown fall, though, and soon every single leaf outside will be a fiery oranges and reds and yellows - I am excited for the photographs to come :)

Big week this week, and I am sure all of our to-do lists are packed. Happy Monday to you and enjoy your beautiful October day :) ciao, xo