Author Archives: Catalina

Vancouver : I’m a Fan

This week, I was lucky enough to join my husband on a business trip to Vancouver. As I mentioned on Tuesday, the weather was close to perfect this week but that is not the only thing about Vancouver that makes it a great vacation destination. There's no way i could possibly cover everything, but here are a few things that I absolutely loved about this charming city:

The Seawall

This pedestrian/cycling/rollerblading path runs pretty much around the entire perimeter of the city and runs across beaches, marinas, small parks, and ultimately the very famous Stanley Park. It seems like all of Vancouver flocks to these places in the summer so its constantly filled with activity. We rode bikes through Sunset Beach, English Bay and up through Stanley park and it was absolutely beautiful.

Bike Lanes Everywhere

I really enjoy bike riding but get very intimidated by cars on the road, especially busy roads. Well, Vancouver remedies that issue by having bike lanes on virtually every street in the city and numerous trails and paths in addition to that. Besides Amsterdam, this is the most bicycle friendly city I've ever encountered and I loved every minute of it!

The Yums

I admit I had the power of Yelp to help me make culinary decisions, but every single restaurant we dined in was a home run. Not only that, they were also beautifully decorated and the staff at each one was very friendly. Our favorite restaurant hands down was Back Forty, a southern barbecue joint with a genuine, Texan smoker sitting right outside (the smell is actually what drew us in!) Both the food and atmosphere were spectacular. Meanwhile, our favorite non-restaurant was the Re-Up BBQ food truck (if you're a fan of The Wire, or drugs, you'll recognize the reference). We love our barbecue!


Celebration of Lights

Every summer, Vancouver, hosts a fireworks competition between several different countries. This year, Vietnam, Brazil and Italy are battling for best fireworks display and those in Vancouver are treated to three shows. On 3 nights in a week, the entire city it seems, gathers along the seawall near English Bay and Sunset Beach to watch the 25 minute show. And though I like my fireworks with a little America the Beautiful, it was breathtaking nonetheless. I'm glad we were here at the right time to see 2 of the shows!

I know there's a ton more to see so I definitely want to return. Have you been to Vancouver? If so, what are your favorite things to do?



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Outfit for the Perfect Weather

70 degrees and sunny is not weather you’ll find in the northeast right now – where it’s upwards of 90 degrees and intermittently humid and rainy. So, you can imagine how awesome it is to be visiting Vancouver, BC where the weather is nearly perfect. It’s sunny and there’s a light breeze and I’m getting some use out of my cardis and jackets again – I’d forgotten how long I missed them. So, on this day of sightseeing, I definitely layered up with color but since we walked a lot, I wore flats. I like to be comfortable but I don’t normally wear sneakers outside of a gym. How about you, when you’re sightseeing and doing a lot of walking around, do you totally dress down and wear sneakers or do you save those for a workout and opt for cute flats instead? Do any of you brave souls break out heels?


white tank | fuchsia boyfriend cardigan and webster navy eyelet skirt : target | yellow bubble necklace : ebay | rose gold sandals : jlo at kohls | nude skinny belt : michael kors at annie sez


Also, here are some photos of beautiful Vancouver. I was pleasantly surprised by how gorgeous it is!

Sunset at Sunset Beach, Vancouver

View of Stanley Park from Canada Place


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Gelato Making at Mia Chef Gelateria

A few months ago, pal Jess and I scored a LivingSocial deal for a gelato making class. Well, the timing couldn’t have been any better because it was definitely the perfect weather to make (and eat) the delicious, creamy, Italian treat. Mia Chef Gelateria, located on 3rd Ave between 27th and 28th in NYC, has gelato making classes as well as sorbet making classes. In today’s class not only did we learn some wonderful tips for making gelato at home but we made four fantastic flavors of gelato and took a pint of each home.

  • Cookies and Cream Gelato
  • Fig and Tequila Gelato
  • Snickers Gelato
  • Ferrero Rocher Gelato

Also we learned a neat tip on how to determine if a gelateria is worth eating at — taste test their pistachio gelato.  If you can truly taste the pistachio (as opposed to a substitute or filler), then it’s safe to assume that gelateria has invested in quality ingredients for the rest of their gelati as well.

So, if you’re in the city with nothing to do, check out Mia Chef. Here are some photos from our class.

The ingredients: sugar, Dutch cocoa, hazelnuts, nucciola, dextrose, butterscotch, chocolate, peanuts, peanut butter, figs, tequila, skim milk, heavy cream and whole milk.\



Mixing the ingredients.



Pouring the mixture into the gelato machine (similar effect can also be achieved at home with an ice cream maker)



The Base.



Snickers Gelato



Ferrero Rocher Gelato.


Now lets see if I can replicate any of this at home…


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Back of the Closet Find and an Emmy Rant

Sorry for the late post today guys. I spent my morning blogging hour cheering and jeering (though mostly jeering) the Emmy nominations that were announced this morning. If you’ve ever seen my personal twitter feed, you know that I’m a tv-holic, so it’s no surprise that I have very strong opinions about the nominations. I’m super psyched about the Homeland noms, although I think their only winner will be Claire Danes, and I’m OVER THE MOON for the Max Greenfield nom for New Girl, though he’ll most likely lose. Seriously guys — Schmidt is the best new character of 2012.  Also, I’m accustomed to sci-fi getting snubbed since BtVS but seriously, how could the Emmy voters possibly ignore the awesomeness of John Noble in Fringe this season — or every other season.  And I won’t even get into the snubbing of John Slattery for Mad Men, Emmy Rossum for Shameless, Joel McHale and the rest of the Community team, and Madeline Stowe and the Revenge folks.  Sigh. Okay, rant over.
Now lets get into today’s outfit.  In an effort to force my self to get creative (and save some money), I’ve reduced my spending budget for clothing.  So, I pulled out this skirt, that’s been sitting in the back of my closet, for 4 years, never worn.  At first I thought it would be boring worn with black but the pattern of the skirt is so bold I think the black balances it out.  What do you think?  I’m pretty embarrassed to admit that this was sitting in my closet for so long, with tags on it just collecting dust.  What’s the oldest item with tags hanging in your closet right now?

City and Burbsskirt : DVF (old)(similar style)(similar floral) | button down blouse : express | necklace : forever 21 | black pumps : vince camuto heath | shoulder bag : calvin klein


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There Are Three Flowers in a Vase

The third flower is yellow.

Kudos to you if you recognized the quote above from the short-lived and brilliant Joss Whedon series, Dollhouse.  You may also know Joss Whedon as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and the director of this year’s summer blockbuster, The Avengers.  My Whedon fangirling aside, the purpose of the quote was to get you in a floral state of mind.  As I’m sure you’ve noticed, floral prints have been a huge trend this season (see Diana in a floral skirt here, floral jeans here and here and Catalina in a floral dress here) and it looks like the trend is going to continue into the fall.  So if you haven’t picked up any floral yet, you still have time to get on board with the trend.  Here are a few suggestions:

For Work
Dorothy Perkins | $49

For Play
Paige @ Zappos | $91.99 (on sale)

On Your Feet
ASOS | $18.23 (on sale)

On your Arm

I searched high and low and couldn’t find the origin of this clutch — let me know if you find it!

Around Your Neck
Zara | $19.99 (on sale)

On Your Wall

On Your Floor
Anthropologie | $98 – $1,598

What’s your take on florals this season? Post links in the comments! Are you looking forward to the fall take on this trend?


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My 5 Favorite Pinterest Trends

For those of you familiar with Pinterest, you understand all the hype. For those of you not yet on the bandwagon, I’ll just say this — it’s kind of like chocolate, it’s hard to describe to anyone else but once you try it you’ll understand the obsession.  So just sign up already! And follow our Pinterest Boards — Diana, Catalina, City and Burbs.

I love Pinterest for all the obvious reasons: it provides a centralized, visually pleasing repository for all my ideas, inspirations, and life plans; it helps me curate my style and better understand and define my brand; and it helps lets me take a peek at others’ styles as well, satisfying my curious tooth ;).  Another reason I love Pinterest though is for trends.  Whether they’re fashion & beauty trends, home decor trends, wedding trends, or cooking trends, definite trends do emerge.  Some are life changing and some are merely amusing, either way, here are my favorites!

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Arm Parties
I’m not that great at putting wrist accessories together.  Thank God females all over pinterest are! Not only do I get unique ideas for metals and colors that I can mix, but there are also a TON of DIY ideas as well!

Easy To Execute Updos
I abhor straightening my hair.  If a genie granted me three wishes, maintenance-free hair would definitely be one of those wishes.  So on those days when I’m really dreading whipping out the round brush and blow dryer, I love that these great ideas are waiting for me in my ‘Hair’ pin board.  I wear a sock bun at least once a week!

Wall Galleries
Pinterest has led me to believe that no home is complete without a photo gallery wall and I’m glad for that because I think it’s a wonderful way to show case your family and favorite things to anyone who comes to your home.  Seeing so many in my pinterest feed day after day has definitely given me some great ideas for when I build mine!

Single Serving Muffin Tin Treats
Okay, remember before when I mentioned that some pins were amusing and some were life-changing? Well these are life changing.  I cook for two most of the time.  So these muffin tin meals and desserts are perfect for M and me.  They’re also super adorable :).

Ingenious Household Tips
The final and most useful trend is household tips.  The ladies of pinterest are super creative and can MacGyver any item in to a cleaning product.  The best one for me so far has been the super easy way to clean stove burner grates using ammonia.  Check it out. It will change your life too!

Are you on Pinterest? If not, what are you waiting for? If so, what are your favorite Pinterest trends?


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Wear to the Office : Semi-Monochromatic

Hopping off my sisters idea from yesterday, I also decided to do a monochromatic look today, well semi-monochromatic anyway.  The color – cream.  The twist here is that the lace skirt has a coral underlay but I kept everything else neutral.  And perfect timing too because it is scorching out there and I want to keep my outfits as light as possible.  What do you think? Semi-Monochromatic | City and Burbs

blouse : forever 21 | lace skirt : willi smith @ tj maxx | nude pumps : vince camuto heath | bubble necklace : ebay


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NYC Bloggers Unite

A couple weekends ago, Diana and I met up with some fellow fashion bloggers in the NYC tri-state area to chat about all things blogging! We  counseled each other and helped each other become better bloggers.  It was a great day.  We brunched at Spring Street Natural, visited the C Wonder around the corner and then had some coffee and more conversation at Starbucks.  Here is what we wore:

Do you notice the lovely background in the pictures?  Does it look a little Tory Burchy to you?  Well, we’re in C Wonder here — the brainchild of Christopher Burch.  Yep, the ex-husband of Tory Burch who is not thrilled with the fact that the store is so similar to her brand at a much more affordable price tag.  In fact, it’s the subject of a very vicious (and fascinating) battle between the Burches — read more about that here!

Here are some more pictures of our fabulous meetup (thanks Candace!).  Be sure to check out the links to our fellow bloggers sites as well!

   The Style Climber –
Ripped Nylon –
Made in Ummerica –
Pure Ferocity –
Debutante Funk –
KurvayshusB –
African Print in Fashion –


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White, Blue, Yellow and Braids

I love Saturday afternoons in the city and while its always important to look great, trekking through the city demands comfort – especially in 90 degree weather like this past weekend.  So I put together this crisp and clean, white and blue outfit, paired it with some flats, a bold statement necklace and a braided updo.  More about the updo coming up.

blouse : zara (old)(similar) | white skinny jeans : michael kors @ annie sez (old)(similar)(similar and affordable): rose gold sandals | jennifer lopez @ kohls | yellow statement necklace : ebay | glasses : dita svelte | gold leaf earrings : annie sez (old)(similar)

Now about the updo.  From the front it doesn’t look like much but if you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you saw this picture of the back of my updo that I posted on Saturday:

The french fishtail seashell braid.  I have to admit, this was a feat of engineering that I’m not sure I can replicate.  I saw this pin on Pinterest and was immediately inspired.  After much searching I finally found two YouTube videos whose instructions I was able to combine to create the look you see above.  I essentially replicated this forming technique but with the fishtail braid from this video.  Like I said before, I don’t know if I can recreate this but if I get enough interest, I’ll do a tutorial video for it.


In other news, I finally caught the first episode of The Newsroom, and since I’ve mostly been watching ABC Family fodder this summer, this show was definitely a nice change of pace.  I haven’t seen the second episode yet but the first was spectacularly written and acted.  It’s not as gritty as The Wire, nor as remarkably moving and understated as Mad Men (IMO the best shows of all time — the best, not my favorite), the first episode is very promising.  What are you watching this summer?


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The Difference a Light Makes – Entryway Progresss

Slowly but surely, I’m making progress towards putting the finishing touches on my house.  My latest focus has been on the entryway — after all, it’s the first room that people walk into when they visit our home.  So, I want it to be welcoming, but also functional. This is where we started — I actually made a video and put it on my now abandoned tumblr almost two years ago.  Check that out here.  Since then, we’ve painted, added a rug and some furniture and just this week, changed the lighting.  I actually pinned this Uttermost drum pendant on Pinterest quite a while ago and was lucky to find it at a discounted price at a local lighting store.

Here is the lighting before and after.

I love lighting, and I think it makes such a huge difference in a room.  Still, there are quite a few things left to do in the foyer before I consider it finished.

Here is my running list:

Entryway Progress:

Check out my entryway pinterest board to see when I’m struck with inspiration and get some inspiration yourself.  Do you use pinterest to organize your home decor inspiration? Fashion inspiration?


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