Nate Berkus for Target {Get the Look}

I have a slight obsession with all things gold and neutral, which is why I am loving the Fall 2014 Nate Berkus for Target home collection, which launched today. I had to limit myself to these gold and white vases (bottom left below) but easily could have checked out with the majority of the line if I had unlimited budget. Check out some of my favorite items below and the full line here!

Nate Berkus

Friday Faves {August 29, 2014}

It’s been a long week but the long weekend is finally here, so to kick it off, here are my Friday Faves.

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  1. My happy place: I grew up on the Seacoast of New Hampshire and the beaches of Rye are what I miss most about this are. I love it so much that my husband and I got married on the water in this area last September. This post captures some of my favorite parts of Rye beaches. {yankeemagazine.com}
  2. Goodbye to Chelsea Lately: I consider myself to be one of Chelsea Handler’s biggest fans. I’ve been watching her show since day one, before she really became famous. Since then, I DVR every episode and watch them all. This week was the finale (clip here) and this post captures some great episodes. {eonline.com + maskable.com}
  3. My ‘Friends’ are back: Speaking of shows I love, my all time favorite show is Friends. As in I’ve watched all 10 seasons from start to finish more times than I’d like to admit and I remember exactly where I was and who I was with during the series finale. This week the cast was back for a great show on Jimmy Kimmel Live! {etonline.com}
  4. Rosé for days: It may be Labor Day Weekend, but I’m still clinging to everything summer. And that includes rosé. This post gives the rundown on eight great bottles at all different prices. {100layercake.com}

Healthier Summer Macaroni Salad {Recipe}

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you know that I love Skinnytaste recipes. And while I wish I could be as talented in the kitchen as she is, I settle for recreating her recipes and sharing with you on my blog from time to time.

For my husband’s birthday BBQ I tried out Skinnytaste’s Summer Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes and Zucchini and also made my own Lemon Dill Orzo Salad as sides. I love a good macaroni salad and this is a healthier version of a traditional side dish, which incorporates more veggies and uses ingredients like Greek yogurt and Dijon mustard to replace some of the mayo. In the photos below I added a tiny bit extra of the dressing mixture, but it’s definitely not necessary.

This macaroni salad also makes for great leftovers. Check out the recipe below and enjoy!

Summer Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz uncooked elbows
  • 4 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 cups (1 small) zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 7 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fat free Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • In a medium bowl, combine onions, mayonnaise, vinegar, yogurt, mustard, oregano, garlic powder; mix well.
  • Add tomatoes (and any juice from the tomato), zucchini, pasta, salt and pepper to taste, toss well and place in a large bowl.

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What are your favorite summer bbq sides? Let us know in the comments below!

Beach Bag Essentials {Review}

This summer has been SO busy with weddings, travel, birthdays, you name it. But my absolute favorite thing to do is head to the beach, which is exactly what my husband, puppy and I did this past weekend to celebrate my husband’s 30th birthday. We took the 90-minute ferry from Boston to Provincetown, Cape Cod and had a nice weekend with great weather, food and lots of relaxation.

Today, I’m sharing my beach bag “essentials” that I brought along with me this weekend – check them out below and pick some up for yourself for your end-of-summer beach days and Labor Day Weekend celebrations! If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that you can enjoy the beach beyond actual summer months, I envy you. :)

Beach Essentials

1. Cinda B Beach Bag II

The perfect beach bag is hard to come by. You need one that is big enough to fit all essentials – towels, books, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. – but you also need it to have compartments so everything doesn’t get lost in the bag. And then it’s just as important to have a bag that’s made of the right material to withstand sand and water at the beach. That’s where cinda b comes in. Cinda b’s Beach Bag II is but stylish and practical.

The Beach Bag II has so much room, along with six large exterior pockets (perfect for cell phones, snacks and books) and a zippered pocket inside (great for things like keys and money). I picked the beach-inspired Neptune pattern, but there are lots of other great ones to choose from here. The best thing about the fabric on cinda b bags is that they’re all water and stain resistant, “outdoors friendly,” durable and machine washable.

You can purchase cinda b’s Beach Bag II on cindab.com for $129. To learn more about cinda b, follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

2. Coola Suncare

Wearing sunscreen has never been my favorite thing, but I know it’s so important so I suck it up and use it anyway. I recently tried out a few products from Coola Suncare and I can honestly say that I was totally OK with wearing them! The Sport SPF 30 Citrus Mimosa Sunscreen Spray and Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer will definitely be regulars in my beach bag from here on out. They smell so good and my skin feels like it can breathe while still getting the sun protection I need. The continuous spray goes on nice and clear, is made with 97% organic ingredients like cucumber, algae and strawberry extracts and is water resistant. The face moisturizer is super sheer, hypoallergenic and the cucumber scent actually feels refreshing. Both help fight aging with the antioxidants they’re infused with.

You can purchase the spray here ($32) and the face lotion here ($32). And to learn more about Coola Suncare, visit CoolaSuncare.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

3. Hayden Reis Wristlet

When I have a big bag, I find myself putting smaller wristlets or bags inside of it to help keep me organized. That’s why I love this Teal & Blue Stripe Wristlet from Hayden Reis. It’s water resistant and is the perfect place to store miscellaneous items you don’t want to get wet or sandy at the beach.

In addition to the Wristlets, Hayden Reis offers lots of fun, bright products that are perfect for both the beach and everyday use. To buy one of the Wristlets ($32 each), click here, and to shop other products and stay up on the latest from Hayden Reis, visit haydenreis.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

4. Mi Ola Bikini

Earlier this year, I was searching for a simple bikini with a perfect fit – and I found that in a swimwear brand I hadn’t previously heard of, Mi Ola. The brand’s founder, Helena, traded her NYC, high-fashion lifestyle for a laid back, Costa Rica surf life. According to Helena, as a surfer, she had a hard time finding “well-made, chic, sexy bikinis that stayed on,” which led to her launching Mi Ola. In addition to providing great fit and functionality, these bikinis are even made with fabric that is UPF 50+ to protect you from the sun – and it doesn’t fade or stretch out after lots of use.

I tried out the Ring Back Top and Ring Bottom, both in Fuchsia, and it’s already become one of my favorite bikinis for so many reasons. The shape of the top gives lots of support without any crazy padding and is very flattering. The bottoms have a special gripper elastic on the inside that ensure that it stays put, whether you’re surfing or jumping into the water. And while sometimes rings on bikini bottoms can be a bit uncomfortable, these ones are positions on the sides and are even molded to fit your curves. These are brazilian bottoms with ruching is of course very flattering as well.

To buy the bikini shown in this post, find the top here ($95) and bottom here ($85) on mi-ola.com. You can also follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

5. Turkish Towel

I’ve been on the hunt for a Turkish towel all summer and finally got one. These towels are more like lightweight blankets and I think they’re perfect for the beach. They don’t take up much room in your beach bag and are so soft (they get even softer the more you wash them). I found this Turkish towel on Amazon here ($21.45), but you can also get them from stores like Serena and Lily, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Gilt.

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What are your beach bag essentials? Let us know in the comments below!

**While I was provided product samples for review in this post, all opinions are 100% my own.

Outfit of the Day {Get the Look}

It’s hard to believe that fall is right around the corner, but I’m  still clinging to summer as much as I can! However, here in New England the nights have been getting chilly, so I’ve started wearing some fall-ish items. I wore the outfit below this past weekend on Cape Cod – a fun Forever 21 sweater, high-waisted Kiind Of denim leggings that I picked up during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale (still only $69 full price), Sole Society booties and jewelry from Forever 21, ASOS and JewelMint. Click the links to be directed to read more or purchase online!

forever21 finds

Sweater: Forever 21 / Jeans: Kiind Of / Shoes: Sole Society

Ring (Left): ASOS / Ring (Right): JewelMint

What are your favorite summer to fall transition clothes? Let us know in the comments below!

Friday Faves {August 15, 2014}

Happy Friday! My husband, pup and I are headed off to Provincetown, Cape Cod this morning, but wanted to share some of my favorite links this week. Check them out below, have a great weekend and I’ll be back Sunday night!

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  1. Closet Envy: This amazing closet/office designed for Rach Parcell of Pink Peonies by Alice Lane has everything a girl could want.
  2. Puppy Love: My new favorite Instagram account, BullyInstagram. How can pics of adorable bulldogs not make me happy.
  3. Lauren Conrad: Slight obsession with her in general – probably due to my high school obsession with Laguna Beach… but really, I’m loving her new items from her LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s collection and also this giveaway.
  4. Office Inspiration: Love this home office look from The Everygirl. Can’t wait til I finally get around to updating my home office space.

What were your favorite links this week? Let us know in the comments below!

Summer Nail Care Tips from Cutex

During the hot summer months, I love to brighten up my style with neon and cool pastel nails. And while trying out the latest nail colors is the fun part, it’s also important to keep your nails protected – especially during the summer months – with quality products. That’s why I wanted to share with you some awesome products that I had the opportunity to try out from Cutex, the leader in nail care products since 1911.

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  • Baseworx: This base coat is exactly what you need to protect your nails before putting any nail color on them. It’s the only base coat made with bioceramics, which pairs with natural oils to smooth, strengthen and condition your nail bed. Bioceramics also fill in nail ridges and help nail polish stay put. ($8, Drugstore.com)
  • Nail Polish Remover: Cutex has lots of great options that make it easy to remove nail polish and also condition your nails in the process. Here are a few of my favorites:
    • Nail Polish Remover Pads: These are amazing and I will absolutely be buying these in the future. The pads are bigger and thicker than ordinary pads and are great for using at home or while traveling because they come in individual packages. And all it takes is one pad to remove polish from every finger – even dark or hard-to-remove colors! They come in three varieties – Regular, Advanced Revival and Non-Acetone. ($4 for pack of 10, Drugstore.com)
    • Liquid Nail Polish Remover: The Advanced Revival Formula combines the power of acetone with the strengthening and nourishing of natural drying oils to leave your nails feeling strong, while also quickly removing nail polish. And the Spa Formula is perfect for removing hard-to-remove colors (glitter!) and even Shellac. (Prices vary based on size and type, CutexShop.com)
    • Gel Polish Remover Kit: I love getting Shellac polish once in a while, but I always end up picking it off (which is obviously not good for my nails) because I don’t feel like going back to the salon to get it removed (and also don’t want to pay for it). This solves that problem – it removes Shellac or gel polish in a way that doesn’t use pure acetone, which is much better for your nails. ($10, CutexShop.com)
  • Corrector Pen: This is an awesome tool for correcting nail mistakes in one stroke. I love getting a professional mani/pedi, but in between I usually do my own nails, so this is exactly what I needed. It has a special tip designed for hard to get to areas. And all you have to do is apply the tip that has nail polish on it, rub it over the nail polish and it disappears right away. ($17, Amazon.com)

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In addition to having great products, Cutex sent along these tips for keeping nails looking and feeling great this summer:

  • Sunscreen isn’t just for the skin. Nails are made of protein and need as much protection as our skin does. When lathering on the sunscreen, remember those hands and feet – especially the cuticles. Cuticles serve a purpose; they seal in moisture and protect new nail growth as it emerges from the base of the nail. Sun, wind and sand can dry cuticles and nail folds (the areas of skin that frame your nails), which is bad for nail growth.
  • Cover your head and nails. Dermatologists recommend donning a baseball cap or cute floppy hat to shade the head and face from the sun’s harsh rays. Cutex recommends coating nails with a polish, base coat or ridge-filler to protect nails against the elements. The Cutex clear basecoat, Baseworx, contains biotin, the only supplement scientifically proven to improve nail health. Baseworx not only lengthens the life of manicures, it is also the perfect protection for those heading sea-side, where high salt and moisture can soften and split nails.
  • Keep infection at bay. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 50 percent of all nail disorders are caused by fungal infections. People tend to go swimming, exercise, and visit spas more often in summer. While those places are great for relaxing or keeping fit, any damp place – like a locker room – can breed fungus, so be sure to wear some type of footwear at all times when in public. Feet can also become hot and sweaty in the summer. Open-toed shoes or light sandals can help keep feet dry and healthy.
  • Oil-up to protect and moisturize. Dermatologists suggest coating hands and nails in natural oils to moisturize. When you’re looking to change polishes, reach for Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover, which comes in both liquid and pads. Named 2014′s Best Nail Polish Remover by NewBeauty Magazine, Advanced Revival combines the power of acetone with the nourishing and natural botanical oils of apricot seed, flax seed and perilla, for stronger, healthier nails. Plus, Advanced Revival removes polish twice as fast as other brands. That means more time to spend enjoying summer!
  • Ditch the harsh salon acetone for DIY removal. Do you take your nails to the extreme with gel or glitter polish? Extreme nails don’t have to mean extremely harsh nail polish remover. Try at-home removal with the new Cutex Gel Polish Removal Kits or SPA Formula Nail Polish Remover. These products work as well as 100 percent acetone, yet moisturize and condition nails even after the first use.
  • Go Naked! Even with the best products, nails still need a rest. If your nails are brittle, break easily or just look unhealthy, dermatologists recommend ditching the polish for three months. Still need a little shine? Use CutexBaseworx, which uses bio-ceramic technology to bind to the protein in nails, strengthening them in the process.

Each of the products mentioned above are the perfect addition to your nail care routine, summer and beyond. To learn more about Cutex products, visit CutexNails.com and follow the brand on FacebookTwitterInstagram andPinterest.

**The above Cutex tips were originally published by me on my Examiner.com page. Also, while I received samples to try out for this review, all opinions are 100% my own.

Buy Items Directly from an Image with new iPhone App Piccing {Review}

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Piccing. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a Pinterest addict, I was excited to try out a new iPhone app, Piccing, and share my first impression with you. From my experience trying out Piccing, I discovered that this app is a fun way to explore and “picc” visual content from categories ranging from women’s fashion, food and pets, to DIY, home decor, toys and more. The main differentiator between this app and others is that it’s designed to direct you to purchase items you see in the photos with just one click.

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How it works: Download the app, select a few categories that are of interest to you and begin browsing. If you see images that you like, go ahead and “picc” them, which is a similar experience to pinning an item to one of your boards on Pinterest. You can also add your own image by uploading through the website or by using your camera/photo album on your iPhone.

There are little orange circles on some of the images, which you can tap to browse similar items. When you do that, a list of items pops up and you can scroll through and click on items you like, which then brings you to a page outside of the app to purchase that item. You can also mark items within images you’re browsing or that you upload.

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Favorite things: I love the idea behind this app. On social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram, I follow lots of bloggers and brands and often click through to get more info on specific items I’m interested in. With Piccing, you click a few times and you can ideally purchase something similar very easily. The content on the app is great too, so I enjoyed browsing through the different categories and “piccing” items to my profile.

Not-so-favorite things: The main drawback to this app right now is that when you click on a mark, the items that come up to purchase aren’t similar to the item shown in the image. The purchase process is very easy and features lots of big brands, but it would be more useful if you could at least view items that are similar in color, style or brand. Additionally, many images don’t have marks at all. Finally, there are only eight categories to browse and add images to and it might be helpful down the road to add more or allow users to create their own. This app is brand new, so I’m guessing that as more people join, more brands sign on and more users begin marking images, these drawbacks will improve.

Learn more: Check out the video below, visit Piccing.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To download the free iPhone app, go to MobileApp.Piccing.com.

Have you heard of Piccing? If so, what do you think? What are your favorite apps right now? Let us know in the comments below!

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Piccing

Lemon Dill Orzo Salad {Recipe}

Last week was my husband’s 30th birthday and to celebrate we had a big barbecue yesterday. I took the opportunity to try out a few new recipes and then also whipped up some of my go-to recipes, including my favorite Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip (recipe here!). I remembered seeing an orzo salad with lemon and dill on Pinterest a while back and tried out my own recipe, which ended up being a hit and was even pretty healthy for a pasta salad. We discovered that it’s even better the second day, so make plenty for leftovers!

Lemon Dill Orzo Salad

Ingredients:

For the orzo salad:

  • 1 pound uncooked orzo
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion (more if you like red onion like I do!)

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Cook orzo as directed on package.
  • Combine Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, dill, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl or measuring cup to create the dressing.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add chickpeas, cucumber, onions and feta to the orzo.
  • Pour dressing over the orzo salad, mix together.
  • Add additional salt and pepper to taste, along with parsley.
  • Mix together again and enjoy!

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What are your favorite summer pasta salad recipes? Let us know in the comments below!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites {Get the Look}

In case you haven’t heard yet, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is taking place through this Sunday, August 3. I couldn’t resist shopping the sale and wanted to share some of my favorite accessories. Check out my picks below and click the links to view and purchase. Enjoy!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Accessories

Rebecca Minkoff Bag / BaubleBar Necklace / Moon and Lola Bracelets

Michael Kors Watch / WildFox Sunglasses

What are your favorite items from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Let us know in the comments below!