christmas 2015

 As I type this, it is Sunday December 27th...and I smiled today because some of the radio stations are still playing all the Christmas songs :) The cheer and the hype is what makes me really excited, and it is so contagious, all through songs, visions of red and green, and the smells of cooking, pine, cinammon-goodness...there are so many senses of Christmas.

So here are just a few (I mean, just a few) pictures from the holidays this year. Most of my efforts went into making a video, actually, so the best of the best you can see below. This is becoming somewhat of a family tradition, to make goofy movies...and I love it!

password: chritmat

ciao! xo and enjoy!


pretending it's cold...

What is more bizarre than a warm Christmas?! It was a complete oxymoron, requiring an air conditioner and everything. Christmas Eve was 76 degrees! We always joke in my family that there is something wrong about a sunny Christmas; it goes against every carol, holiday card and Charles Dickens-esque picture. At least it was cloudy, and not sunny!

Despite that, our holiday has been wonderful. It's been filled with Star Wars everything, lots of PIE, homemade pasta (all the carbs!) and lots of wrapping paper. I received this lovely hat and scarf and immediately paired them together in my mind's eye for an outfit like this (above). I mean, ideally I would be wearing a nice black coat and boots, but a light dress is perfect for 60 degrees or so in December. My little bro is such a good sport for taking these pics!

How is everyone's Christmas weekend?

ciao! xo


winter picks

As I posted on my instagram, I have this bad habit of buying things for myself when I go Christmas gift shopping. Woooops. Sometimes it's the sales I can't pass up, but most times it's little trinkets like these that keep me excited for cooler weather and wintry outfits. But I do have to say, I did pretty well on my shopping this year. I have almost everyone on my list done, and all I need to do is wrap whatever else arrives in the mail. I didn't do a lot of physical brick&mortar shopping, but the little that I did was pleasant. Of course watching the money fly out of your bank account is no fun, but the satisfaction of having a little pile of presents all wrapped up and ready for gifting is quite fun and might make up for it.

So, in the frenzy of shopping, here are some of my winter picks:

- ear cuffs.
- long gold chains (these are from urban outfitters)
- plaid scarfs
- booties (i got them in black, too!)
- aaaaand: eyewear! I have been in desperate need of new glasses, and I am so excited about my (not one! but two) pairs. Both are a bit hipster in look but I am really digging the round frames :)

ciao! xo


some recent updates

+ searching for pieces. oook! so lately I have been desperately in need of a few new, stylish pieces - mainly accessories - to amp up my wardrobe and keep it both seasonally "in style" and also classic and "timeless." In short: I need scarves and dresses and boots and earrings and sweaters and bracelets and long gold necklaces and a new tote bag.

+ loving documentaries. I think I talked about this a few posts ago...but how amazing is Amazon Prime video? I love the video feature that's included in the membership, it is hands-down the most used aspect of the membership I use and love. I've been opened to so many great films and notably documentaries. As a history lover, I am really finding myself drawn to the classic Ken Burns documentaries, especially the Civil War. It touched me so much that it inspired a quick getaway here! I love how they allow you to learn and relax and lounge with a cup of tea...it is what makes an ideal weeknight for me.

+ getting back on track with running. I have recently found some pants getting a bit tighter...ahh! So that's gotta change. I do not own a scale and really would like to, so for the time being I use my clothes to gauge my weight and whether or not I am maintaining it. In the last several months I have gotten into the best shape I have ever been in, and I guess I let it go to the wayside a little. I used to run  e v e r y single day in the summer but this year I have been very inconsistent. I am only 2 weeks strong, but I have been consistently exercising and keeping an eye on how often I do cardio/runs. Eating is a part of it too...but tonight I had fajitas so I am not sure I can toot my own horn about how healthy I eat right now...haha.

+ on confidence. This is a good thing...I find that the older I get, the more confidence I have. It's like a fully supplied reserves system. I feel good being me, good in my skin, and I feel very confident - for the most part - about my work life. I love my place right now and I thank my lucky stars for being where I am.  I don't know it all, and I am learning every day, but I feel very stable in my life right now which is kind of nice. The twenties are tumultuous in a young adults life; I finally am feeling centered. I turn 26 in April! Holy moly...

+ on little getaways.  Recently this quote caught my eye: disappear one weekend per month. Maybe it's not a quote, but it is a piece of advice I really like. In November my mom and I took an impromptu trip to Gettysburg, and we are planning our next mini-trip to Long Island, NY. I hope it works out, because the next few weekends leading up to Christmas will certainly be busy. Weekend trips like this, even close ones, are like pressing a reset button. A two-day trip feels like a full out vacation. It all depends on the context, the company, and the circumstances...but I love the spontaneity of a quick getaway and think it does wonders for the soul!

+ on beauty routines. I feel like I am looking so tired lately, and I'm not sure if it is because I am not drinking enough water, or wearing mediocre makeup (or a combination of both). My skincare routine has been kind of up and down lately; running out of my favorite La Mer moisturizer, having a really hard time finding a good eyeliner, etc. All I know is that for eyeliner, I just don't like waterproof makeup. It needs to be scrubbed off! All it does it irritate my face, and I am not sure where to get a good, simple, bold but washable eyeliner that defines my eyes and keeps me looking awake. As for water, I could always use more.

What's going on with you??


Aperitivi: The Spritz

 An Aperol spritz is probably the most summery drink you can make; it ranks along side of refreshing mojitos and sangria (in my book). So I thought I'd kick off December, the unofficial start of the Christmas season, with a really summery drink! It makes no sense other than over Thanksgiving break I was really craving this drink, so I whipped up a few. First thoughts: man, is it strong! and also, man, is it easy to make! I can't wait to make more again for future gatherings now that I know how to do it. It requires 4 basic ingredients, and is the most festive, flashy hue of orange you can imagine.

Let me start with an explanation behind my craving for this obscure beverage. As most things work with me...all roads lead to Italy! A spritz is a popular Italian aperitif, or aperitivo. It primes your appetite prior to a meal and is usually enjoyed with other fantastic italian classics, like cheeses and meats such as prosciutto or salame. This is shocking...but I have never actually had a full out "aperitivi" in Italy. I've had spritzes alone, but never with other appetizers. Sigh. Spritzes remind me of Florence, in particular a certain bar somewhere near Via Ghibellina. Whenever it was time to have a spritz, we would always proclaim that it was "spritz o'clock"! Any time can be spritz o'clock. It is just that good. It is a dry, almost bitter drink. Not sweet at all. It is, however, refreshing and light, and just as delicious as it looks!

So, anyway, I put this little shoot together to document my pre-Thanksgiving aperitivi. In a few words: it was awesome.

- club soda
- Aperol
- champagne or prosecco (as you can see, I buy only the best)
- orange, sliced

You can find the recipe instructions here! If you're interested in other takes on the recipe, such as the use of prosecco, you can follow my pinterest board all about food. yum!

enjoy la tua bevanda! ciao, xo