Before I went back to school I took a solo trip to Boston so I just wanted to let you guys know what I was up to!
So I took the commuter rail in and got off at the Jersey Street stop.
Then I headed to the Museum of Fine Arts. My main goal of the day was to get Lilly Pulitzer shoes for my graduation but I love exploring museums so that was my first stop.
The MFA was amazing! They had so many interesting exhibits but my favorite was all of the Egyptian stuff. I started and ended my day in two different Egyptian sections. Looking back on it, I probably should have grabbed a map but I had so much fun just wandering around.
The most amazing thing about the way they set up the museum is how immersive it is. The ancient worlds sections looked like you were in an Egyptian tomb, you were able to step in a replica at one point, and they also had a reconstructed old New England house!
I also was able to stop by the Ansel Adams exhibit which was so amazing! I discovered one artist who takes pictures in reflections but I am completely blanking on their name!
After spending four hours wandering the hallways I still had so many different sections to explore but I set my sights on my new shoes.
If you haven’t been to Newbury Street you are missing out. It’s a bunch of stores that I hope one day I can afford all on one street! My first stop was to pick up these shoes that I cannot wait to show you!
Next I went to Trident Books on the complete other side of Newbury Street to pick up a book from their “Blind Date” with a Book section. This is a really interesting concept where they cover the books and draw pictures on the cover so that you have no idea what you are getting yourself into.
At this point in the day I was craving some pizza. Leaving Newbury Street behind me I headed to Eataly, and ate at their Pasta&Pizza restaurant. It was such a good margherita pizza! And I couldn’t go to Eataly without getting dessert so I got this amazing trio dessert!
After that it was time to catch the train and head home! I hope you enjoyed reading about another day in Boston, there’s so much to do there that every day is a new adventure!
Welcome to What I’m Reading Valentine’s Day edition! You might be thinking “The book was called Autumn but it’s February” and well get to that!
Over break I went into Boston and while I was on Newbury Street I stopped by Trident Books. It’s right next to Pure Barre and I don’t know how I never stopped there before!
They have this cute bookshelf at the front of the store called Blind Date with a Book! Ta-da! So I’m writing today to tell you all about my blind date. How this works is that all of the books on this shelf are covered in paper bags and have pictures drawn on them so you have no idea what’s underneath.
The shelf was filled with so many books and I was so torn on what to pick until I saw this:
I took the commuter rail in to the city and on the way home I finished the book I was reading at the time and so I was left with a decision: open the book now and risk tearing the paper or wait until I could show my mom (she’s also a huge fan of Trident Books). Still having 30 minutes left on the train I opened the book. Very. Carefully.
The cover was absolutely stunning. I fell in love with the book almost immediately.
So now onto the real deal…
Autumn by Ali Smith is the first in a series of 4 seasonal novels. Summer has not been released yet which is fitting as it seems summer is years away at this point.
At first glance, I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. Smith’s writing can be overwhelming until you get used to it. She alternates between the story and another narrative that took me awhile to pick up but I’m so glad I did.
If you like linear plots, this is one you should put aside (unless you want to challenge yourself and expand your bookshelf of course). Smith switches between past, present, and everything in between. This book covered everything from intergenerational friendships, a pop-artist, feminism, and Brexit.
The wise people of Goodreads have put my feelings into words and I will share that with you know: I’m not exactly sure what I’ve read. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed what I read, I’m just not exactly sure I picked up on all of the references she included. I think Smith is a brilliant writer and I will definitely be picking up the other two, and eventually a third, but I don’t think there’s anyway I could have possibly picked up all of the things Smith addressed.
While I was able to understand the relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Gluck, and I fell in love with it, the Pauline Body part was just too much for me. If there had been less Body I think I would have enjoyed it more but it tied together Elisabeth’s childhood to finding her thesis. It’s just that it kept going on and on and on.
That being said, I am very excited to pick up the next few books in her series. Something I find extremely interesting about this series is that it’s called a “series quartet” in that they’re stand-alone books that relate to each other as seasons do.
Let me know what you’re reading in the comments!
If you’re going for more of a casual look, this is for you! One of the best things ways to save money when building your wardrobe is to have some go-tos that you can add statement pieces to, to make it different every time you wear it.
The big statement piece here is the pink coat! Mine (technically it’s my mom’s!) is from Old Navy and while they don’t have the same exact one right now, they still have a very nice pink one!
So what else, you can’t go really go out without anything underneath!
I’m going to skip over the jeans, I’m sure you all have jeans at home (dark wash isn’t necessary!). I’m going to skip over the sweater as well because I’m sure you can find this in your closet as well! I would suggest going with a neutral like gray, black, or cream!
You’re also going to need a statement necklace! I’m wearing my favorite one from J. Crew Factory.
The last must have is a simple black purse. I worked at DSW the summer before I went away to college and it’s such a great place to get purses! Kelly & Katie is one of my favorite brands for shoes and purses!
And the last thing: just break out your favorite boots! Whether their higher or ankle booties, they tie this look together!
As I mentioned in today’s post, if you watched my instagram stories in the past month you know my new obsession with Dry Bar. I wanted to take today’s post and give you a rundown of my three favorite things and something I’m looking forward to trying!
If you want any of the links, download the PDF and click on any of the pictures and you’ll be taken right to the website.
I wanted to start sharing easy recipes on my blog because as a college girl on a budget cooking can be hard! Living in an apartment on campus is so much fun, you have your own space with your friends but it comes with a huge responsibility: you have to feed yourself. While you can chose to get a meal plan, you end up saving so much money by making your own food! When I go grocery shopping I tend to stick to a budget of $20 a week. This makes me get a smaller amount of food that I tend to actually use rather than forget about.
I typically do my grocery shopping at Walmart because I find better prices there than at Stop&Shop and Big Y. The day I picked up the ingredients for this that was all I ended up getting and it only cost me $11! The recipe above makes about three servings and I’m only 3/4 of the way through the quinoa box!
This is such a great recipe because you can make the quinoa so many different ways, switch out the vegetables or the type of sauce you’re using and it’s a different meal entirely!
I would recommend to follow the directions on your box of quinoa to cook it but generally, if you are cooking 1 cup of quinoa you should boil 2 cups of water.
While the water is heating up start chopping your vegetables. I used 1 bell pepper and a handful of snow peas.
The quinoa should take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to cook based on the type you get but once you have about 5 minutes left you can start sautéing the vegetables. I put a little bit of olive oil on the bottom of my pan and then I put the kung pao sauce in and dumped all of the vegetables in. You can keep frying them on medium heat until it looks like they’ve been grilled.
You can now take a little but of quinoa in a bowl and mix some vegetables in. If you want to add a little more kung pao sauce to the quinoa itself you can do that now as well.
Enjoy! You should have about two more servings of quinoa left for later!
Here’s the type of quinoa I use and a little bit of a progress picture. The sauce I bought way Kung Pao Stir Fry Sauce from Panda Express!
Huge pro tip: only fry the amount of vegetables you need! Take it from me, reheating the vegetables in the microwave is not your friend. They get super mushy and it’s like you never grilled them at all!
I’m looking forward to experimenting more with different quinoa recipes and I can’t wait to share my findings! If you have any great recipes let me know in the comments!
Alright ladies it’s time to break out the LBDs. In true “ballin’ on a budget” style, we’re using your go-to black dress for a night on the town.
If you didn’t know, I work at Banana Republic Factory Store and I love my job! The people I work with are great and the discounts are so helpful! I was working one of the markdown shifts last summer and as soon as I finished all my work I put this on hold.
One of the ways to get clothes on a budget is take advantage of factory stores! They often have the same quality clothes for much cheaper!
The best part of this outfit is that everything I’m wearing I already had (or borrowed from my mom’s closet!) But, while my grandmother taught me everyone should have a LBD I have linked some below incase you need to invest!
Here is the link for the first dress: cute off-the-shoulder This one is much similar to the one I chose to wear and it is $49 at Lulu’s.
Here is the link for the second dress: little black dress- scalloped dress I love the scalloped details on this one, it’s os fun! This one also comes from Lulu’s and is $46. Neither of these photos are mine they come from Lulu’s website!
While both of these are on the more expensive side, I like to look at thing in how many hours at Banana it’s worth and both of these dresses come in at about 4 hours, but they are dresses you can wear again and again. They’re also more expense because they’re made in the U.S.! I’m working on a post really soon about the importance of being mindful while shopping and paying attention to who made your clothes!
To all my high school/college girls: you get an extra 20% off at Lulu’s. Another huge way to save money: flash that student ID! So many retailers will give you a discount for being in school. Always be on the search for discounts, one I just learned about the other day- all restraints at the mall I work at give 10% to employees who work at the plaza. There’s a discount out there for everything you just have to find it!
Accessorizing is always a must! I went with my classic pearls and two pearl bracelets I got from Claire’s forever ago!
And if you’re from New England you’re going to need a coat!
This is the same coat I wrote about in my dressed down Valentine’s Day post. While Old Navy doesn’t have the same exact coat they have a very similar one you can find here on their website and it’s on sale for $45!
Last but not least: the shoes.
Now shoes are definitely my weakness, my first part time job was at DSW and I bought so many shoes while I was there. These shoes are anything but cheap, they’re from Lilly Pulitzer and I’m so lucky my Nana, my mom, and a $25 off coupon helped fund them. Graduation here we come!
Here is a link to the embellished Amber Lynn sandals.
Here is a link to similar, and way more affordable pair from Indigo Rd. called the Sadie Sandal. They’re on sale at DSW right now for $30! The photo below is from DSW’s website!
Well that’s all I have for you! Have a happy Valentine’s Day! I can’t wait to see what you all wore!