Thursday, December 25, 2014

Home for the Holidays

Nothing is better than home. Not chocolate Rockefeller Center, not $1 pizza, not chocolate pancakes or fluffy puppies. Nothing. 

That being said, being home during the holiday season is even better than being home any other time of year. Mostly due to these festive objects laying around the house. 

These are some of my brown paper packages tied up with string. I'm sticking to a theme for my gift wrapping this year and I love it. Wrapping presents and potential paper cuts have never been so much fun.

One of my favorite ornaments

Another one of my favorite ornaments

An ornament I made out of boredom

Again, one of my favorite ornaments

One of my favorite Santa's in the house
Of course Christmas is nothing without the people you are surrounded by, but some lights and decorations sure do help. 

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas in New York

I can proudly say I ventured Uptown three times just to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in a few short weeks. Even in New York, it can be difficult to get a feel for the holiday season without your family around. But a twenty block walk and there are feelings of Christmas all over. Often times it seems that New Yorkers are jaded by the things that so many travel to see each year (i.e.: Times Square, The Empire State Building, The Plaza...), but everyone and their cousin will make a stop by Rockefeller Center to get a glimpse of the tree each year. Between the tree, twinkling lights, charming windows at Saks Fifth Avenue, Christmas tunes playing inside Saint Patrick's Cathedral, there is something there that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

4/5 of the best people from Nagler 5 

A rare selfie where I don't look over-posed

Bryant park is equally beautiful compared to Rockefeller Center, if not better because it doesn't draw in as massive a crowd. A few upsides of going to Bryant Park instead of Rockefeller Center are cheaper ice skating, fewer people, more delicious food vendors (I highly recommend the Empanadas from the vendor facing 42nd St!), and the charming shopping village full of unique and festive gifts for pretty much anyone you could possibly need a gift for. The New York Public Library is also right around the corner, which is probably the second-most beautiful library on the East Coast, second to the Library of Congress which I've only ever seen pictures of. Although it was raining when I ventured there, it is still remarkable and one of my favorite places to be. 

On move-out day, my family and I spent the day in the city together, wandering around Rockefeller Center for a bit before heading home for a much needed five week break. I was too busy taking Polaroids to take any pictures of my own that day, so these are all taken by my mom.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sea Glass Hunting

Being able to sleep in on a Monday morning isn't anything new since class didn't start until 1:10 last semester. But, today was my first Monday home since August and what a better way to spend it than at the beach, hunting for sea glass with my mom.

Mild temperatures and minimal wind (compared to last week) made for the perfect winter day on the sand.

It seemed as if the only other living things on the beach was this colony of seagulls. And yes- a group of seagulls is in fact called a colony- extensive Googling guided me to that conclusion.

Did you really go to the beach if you didn't wear flip flops or Sperry's?

One of the many pieces of sea glass that we found! Not too many interesting colors, just the usual beer-bottle-brown, a few white and some green pieces.

Are we the only people to hit the sand in winter?

xx, Ally

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ralph Lauren Inspired

To help a friend with a project for school, I had the chance to play model for the day. We picked out three outfits, using clothes from both of our wardrobes. The only requirements for the outfits were that they needed to be inspired by the Ralph Lauren F/W 2014 collection. In the collection, there were plenty of light, neutral colors. Layering with hues such as pinks, grays and whites was not uncommon. After dumping piles of clothes onto my bed, we finally settled on these three looks and ventured out into nearby areas to awkwardly snap photos while tourists walked by, giving me strange looks.

Coat: Forever 21; Sweater: Borrowed; Pants: Zara; Shoes: Betsey Johnson

Blazer: Express; Flannel: Target; Shirt: Gap; Pants: Topshop; Boots: Dr. Marten

Cardigan: Borrowed; Shirt: Express; Pants: INC; Shoes: Nine West

Which look is your favorite?

Photo props to Maria from

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Street Smart

October 18, 2014
I strolled around Soho to kill time before visiting Central Perk before it closed for good! Such a great day with such wonderful people. Thanks for snapping these pictures, Maegan and Maria.

Crop top: Topshop
Joggers: Topshop
Denim shirt: Target
Shoes: Converse

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Like-able Links 2

I really love compiling these links to share with you, so it just might be a weekly thing now. It's the same format as the last one, but there is some very different content.

1) If you like DIY projects, check out this face mask from The Twisted Horn.

2) Fall means apples and cinnamon and generally not the healthiest of foods. This recipe for blooming' baked apples from Spark Recipes seems like it would be even better with a hefty scoop of vanilla ice cream!

3) If you're in the Philadelphia area and you have an undying love for all things Harry Potter, then the Harry Potter Festival at Chestnut Hill is something you need to check out. 

4) New favorite song at the moment is this one called Cecilia and the Satellite by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. The lyrics are also in the description in case anyone is interested.

5) Some weekly wardrobe envy with this sweater from C. Wonder.

6) A blog I really love to read is this one from Niomi Smart. It's a good compilation of fashion, lifestyle, food, and it never fails to either make me want to go shopping or get a bite to eat.

7)  Here is piece on why women are so (obsessively) in love with Mr. Darcy. Because I am. And this is why in a nutshell.

Monday, October 13, 2014

DJ's Birthday

October 13, 2014

This past weekend, I decided to surprise my sister by going home for her birthday. It was her first time being home since starting grad school, and I hadn't seen her in nearly two months. After playing the "I have a train to catch" card with my statistics professor on Friday night, class was actually let out a half hour early and I made the 8:22 home. Hoping for the best, I had luckily brought my duffle bag of clothes to class with me. 
When my dad picked me up at the train station, we were devising a plan to surprise DJ. Although he was against my fear-factor tactics of hiding in her closet until she went to sleep, she ended up being terrified when she saw me anyway.
I waited on our back porch for a few minutes to think of what to say when I walked into the room she was in. But dad took initiative and casually mentioned that he forgot to hang up his jacket. DJ, being her usual, generous self, offered to hang the jacket up for him. The only problem was that I was right in front of the coat hooks. In the corner. Of an extremely dark room. I guess he wasn't against a good spook, after all!
Needless to say her shriek could have woken the dead, and I am extremely relieved that she did not have a sharp object in her hand for concern of my safety. At least she was surprised!
Saturday, DJ's birthday, was the best rainy and lazy day I've had in quite some time. We ate real, home-cooked food (the dining hall's quality has gone down quite a bit, and mom's insane cooking abilities were much-needed), and feasted on made-from-scratch birthday cake. The decorating skills may not be as good as the actual baking skills, but trust me, regardless of looks, it was delicious!

I caught up with my family (and puppy-cousins) next door, too. Maggie is more of a cat-meets-Nicki Minaj than a dog, though.

As incredible as New York is, nothing will ever beat the comfort of home and the calm that goes hand-in-hand with beach towns like Point Pleasant. See you on Thanksgiving.
I've got a few different posts planned for the next few days, so check back here soon!