Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Ok, everyone, Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 13th. Exactly 2 weeks from THIS Sunday (April 29th).

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are always the HARDEST holidays for me to shop for. You want to get something special and sweet, but not over the top.

For Mother’s Day, I always like to get something thoughtful. Something that they can use. Something that will add to their life in some way.

1. Dudley Stephens Blanket Scarf – if you don’t know this brand yet, prepare to become OBSESSED. All of their products are made of the softest fleece that is machine washable and wrinkle resistant. The Blanket Scarf can be dressed up OR down. Mine is a lifesaver at work when it’s warm outside, but still sub-zero in the office (can we all agree that the temperatures in the office need to be increased?). You can wear it as a scarf, shawl, or wrap!

2. Mark & Graham Embroidered Cosmetic Pouch – Mark & Graham is my go-to for personalized gifts. We used them to get our family gifts for being a part of our wedding in October. I just LOVE these cosmetic pouches (pictured above). They are perfect for holding the little items you need for touch ups. Add some personal touches by included a lip gloss, perfume, and oil absorbing sheets.

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3. Spa Day Gift Certificate – I have gifted this to my Mother and Mother In Law so many times and they always LOVE it! My favorite combinations are massage, facial, pedicure. Get yourself one too so you can go together!

Some great spas in the area of Westchester/Fairfield/NYC:

4. Frame a Special Photo – Is there anything Mother’s love more than the family that they created? Find a photo, either of their loved ones, or of you two together and have it framed. I love using Framebridge. The frames are of beautiful quality and the shipping is fast!

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Regardless of what you get, know that your Mom is going to love it because it is from you!

Dudley Stephens Scarf and Mark & Graham Photos by Julia D’Agostino

Wedding Photo by Katie Slater Photography

On Trend: Wicker and Straw Bags

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Who else is LOVING this wicker/straw bag trend? I can hop on board with any trend that practically pairs with any outfit. I hope they stick around for years to come! I received this Free People bag (above and below) for my birthday this year and could not wait to wear it out and about! I also love the beautiful red lining that peeps through.

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There are so many great wicker and straw bags out there. Below are some of my favorites!

Wicker Bag Round Up

Clockwise from Top Left:

  1. Urban Outfitters Circle Straw Crossbody – a STEAL at $59
  2. Kate Spade Bloom Street Sam – one of my favorites, definitely worth the splurge!
  3. Clare V Alice Tote w/ Blush Strap – I love all of Clare V’s bags and clutches. They are classics and always so well made.
  4. ARANAZ Jean Bucket Bag – bucket bag AND woven.
  5. J. McLaughlin Ava Bamboo Handle Wicker Satchel – another classic, sturdy, feminine. I am IN LOVE.
  6. Topshop Bali Pom Pom Bag – another steal at $49. So cute!
  7. Vogue Woven Bag (from Pink Pineapple Shop in Newport, RI) – I love supporting small businesses and Pink Pineapple Shop is one of my favorites. This bag is also on MAJOR sale for $89.

 

Midi Skirt Round-Up

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We had a very brief taste of spring this weekend. But like most of this “spring”, it has been gone in a flash. I do still have faith that spring (or better yet, summer) WILL COME.

One of my favorite things to wear, no matter the year or season, is a midi skirt. A midi skirt is usually A-line and falls around your calf. There is just something so feminine about this shape. I think that’s because this was a popular length for women to wear in the 1950’s. And if there is something you should know about me, it’s that I wish I had lived in the 1950’s..

Just imagine….getting dressed up EVERYDAY to the nines. Drinking dainty martinis. Oozing femininity in dresses, heels, and a red lip. Throwing dinner parties. Men wearing suits everyday…ugh take me there now!

Well, since that’s not possible, I will continue to wear my midi skirts and dresses.

Below are a few that have caught my eye that can be easily dressed up or down (another thing I love about this length).

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midi skirts for spring

Clockwise from Top Left:

  1. RIXO London Red Floral Midi Skirt – definitely the splurge of the group, but I love the red floral pattern and the sexy slit up the side.
  2.  Topshop Tie WaistMidi Skirt – such a great price and the colors go with practically everything!
  3. Eliza J Navy Ruffle Skirt – I LOVE this skirt. Would be super cute dressed up with heels or dressed down with a white tee and white Supergas.
  4. Wilfred Celesse Skirt from Aritzia – this brand from Canada is one of my favorites. Their fabrics are always so comfortable and don’t wrinkle (which is a big pet peeve of mine – yes I know I have wrinkles in my skirt on the pictures above lol but I still hate them).
  5. Side Button Skirt from J. Crew – see above. So cute, so comfortable, and so ON SALE.
  6. Button Skirt in Chambray from J. Crew – because Chambray is not going ANYWHERE. AND this is also ON SALE.

 

 

I&S Bakes: Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love to bake. There is something so therapeutic about it. Plus, you get to enjoy something delicious at the end!

Recently, I wanted to make some vegan chocolate chip cookies. I’m not 100% Vegan, but I like to try to eat Vegan majority of the time.

I found this simple recipe from Buzzfeed Tasty. It was fairly simple, however I did make some substitutions.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup organic raw sugar
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (you can eye this, doesn’t need to be exact)
  • ½ cup (105 g) refined coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 Cup walnuts

What To Do:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the organic raw sugar, coconut sugar, salt, and coconut oil until well combined.
  2. Whisk in non-dairy milk and vanilla, until all sugar has dissolved and the batter is smooth.
  3. Ass the whole wheat flour and baking soda, then fold the mixture with a spatula, being careful not to over mix.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chunks and walnuts evenly.
  5. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F
  7. Scoop the dough with an ice cream scoop onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Be sure to leave at least 2 inches of space between cookies and the edges of the pan so cookies can spread evenly.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cookies just begin to brown.
  9. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and enjoy!

Note: do NOT attempt to speed up the cooling process of the raw dough by placing it in the freezer, it will make the dough too hard to work with. Trust me, I made this mistake.

Would you be interested in me writing about my diet views? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

Jean Jacket Round Up

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Jacket: J. Crew Factory (old) Top: Madewell Jeans: J. Crew Sunglasses: Ray Ban

 

About 5 years ago, I purchased my first denim jacket. And from then on, I don’t know how I ever lived without one.

  1. It goes with literally EVERYTHING and EVERY color
  2. It keeps you warm AND it keeps you cool
  3. It’s easy to carry around JUST IN CASE you need it

Although this specific version is no longer available, I’ve rounded up some great ones below.

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denim jacket

Clockwise from Top Left:

  1. Oversized Icon Denim Jacket from the Gap (on sale for $63, plus and extra 20% off with the code: FORYOU)
  2. J. Crew Classic Denim Jacket
  3. J. Crew Factory (on sale for $42.30 plus an extra 20% off with code: SQUEAKY)
  4. Zara Jean Jacket
  5. J. Crew Denim Swing Jacket (I love this since it seems to be a softer and more flexible feel to a traditional denim jacket)

 

photos by: Julia D’Agostino

 

I&S Spring Reading List

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I love to read. And I love to read a variety of things. Most likely though, you can find me reading either a thriller or some kind of self-improvement book.

Below is a list of some of my favorite books of all time AND some books I plan on reading myself in the next couple of months.

What is the best book you have ever read? Are you drawn to a particular genre? Tell me in the comments! I’ll need some books for my Summer Reading List as well 🙂

  1. SweetBitter by Stephanie Danler – Currently Reading and Loving. It will be premiering soon on Starz as a series.
  2. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll – One of my all time favorites. Waiting for enough time to go by so I can read it again!
  3. Any Book Written by Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, Dark Places…They are ALL good, though I did tend to like Sharp Objects the most.
  4. Heart Talk: Poetic Wison for a Better Life by Cleo Wade – You’ve probably seen her short, handwritten poems somewhere on Instagram at one point or another. Although this isn’t a novel, it is nice to change to reading poetry once in a while.
  5. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – Speaking of poetry, Milk and Honey is always on my nightstand just when I need it.
  6. 1776 by Dan McCullough – I know, I’m such a history geek. One day, I WILL finish this book without falling asleep. Until then, it will be omnipresent on my reading lists.
  7. All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – On my list to read next after SweetBitter.
  8. How to Be Well by Frank Lipman – Dr. Lipman makes wellness so easy to implement into your life. I love reading his simple and easy to follow books on all things wellness.
  9. The Judgement Detox by Gabby Bernstein – I started this book in the beginning of the year and never got around to finishing it. I’m hoping to finish it before summer begins.
  10. The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks – Out of ALL the Nicholas Sparks film adaptions, I am still so surprised this has not been made into a movie. I’ve read a lot of Nicholas Sparks books, and this one is still my favorite.

Spring Workwear Edit

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I know, I know. It snowed this morning. BUT – Spring IS around the corner. TRUST.

I put together 3 outfits that are perfect for when Spring DOES come around.

Are you asking where the dresses and skirts are? Personally, I prefer pants in the spring and save the dresses and skirts for summer. Even in the Spring, it is still too chilly for me in the mornings and in the office to have my legs exposed..but don’t worry, I’ll share my favorite workwear dresses once the weather really warms up!

P.S. Everything above is majorly ON SALE right now…EVERYTHING…

From Left to Right:

Outfit 1 –

Top: I love bowed tops. There is just something so classic and refined about them. I especially love this white one from Banana Republic that can be worn year-round.

Pants: I love J. Crew’s work pants (so much so, that all 3 pairs in this post are from there!). Switching to grey is perfect for when you’re sick of your all-black winter ensemble, but are limited on color options for work.

Shoes: Black Leather Mules, with a BOW. Can’t go wrong.

Bag: I love letter my accessories be the POP in my outfit. This Kate Spade bag is SO cute and is the perfect POP for your corporate dress code.

Outfit 2 –

Top: The J. Crew Tippi Sweater is my favorite of all time. It’s so soft and perfect for Spring/Summer/Fall weather. I have about 5 of them. This color allows you to embrace the pastel trend taking over.

Pants: How CUTE are these ELEPHANT trousers!? They are MAJORLY on sale ($30!!!). And I can personally attest that the Martie Pant is the most flattering of all work pants.

Shoes: These Talbots gold heeled sandals offer just the perfect amount of height and can practically go with anything!

Bag: I love this Navy Bag from Mark & Graham, plus you can get it monogrammed!

Outfit 3 (Casual Friday) –

Top: I just bought this Navy/Ivory striped top with ruffle sleeves and can’t wait to wear it. I have one in Black/Ivory too and it was one of my staples for Spring and Summer last year.

Pants: GREY CHINOS! I love the color of these (is there anything more appealing to the eye than white and grey??). They also look sooo comfortable.

Shoes: I love these Navy Loafers from J. Crew Factory.

Bag: Again…Grey is always a keeper in my book! And I love the look of this Mark & Graham bag.