blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: December 2011

December 30, 2011

New Year's Eve in Paris Pt II.

Sorry this post is coming to you a little bit later than usual, but I had something else planned for this morning's post until I saw all of your wonderful questions from my post yesterday about my New Year's Eve in Paris trip. I couldn't let all of your questions go unanswered, and so many of you had the same ones; I figured I'd do a post on how I made the trip happen.

For starters, I was in no way by myself at any point in my month-long trip - besides for flying to London solo and finding our hotel - let me explain. I, like many of you, have always been dying to travel. And although I had friends who talked a lot about it, none of them were really willing or able to go on a month-long trip to Europe. I wasn't going to let that stop me though. I researched group tours in Europe, and although I absolutely adore old people, I couldn't imagine spending a month touring Europe with them (you guys know what I'm talking about - most group tours are for retired people finally ready to see some of the world). Then I found Contiki. It's a tour company based out of Cali that specializes in vacations for 18-35 year olds.

I booked my trip with them - it was their Winter Wanderer tour of Europe. It was cheaper to have them set me up with a roommate, which I did, and let's just say we still keep in touch two years later and when I make a trip to LA she will be the first person I visit! The tour company had everything planned - hotels, tons of included dinners and tours, etc. We traveled country to country by bus (which actually was half of the fun!) with the same awesome bus driver, the same savvy tour guide, and the same awesome group. Some of the things in cities we did as an entire group, but for the most part we were always free to roam the city as we pleased. I never felt so comfortable getting lost in the small streets and canals of Venice or on the subway in Paris - if I needed help my tour guide and tons of other emergency contacts were only a phone call away. And we never needed help. Even on those ridiculously drunk nights. Let's just say I'm already planning my next trip for the little break I have after I finish my boards and before I begin my clinical rotations, and Contiki is who I'm booking it with! If you guys have anymore questions ask away! And if you're seriously considering traveling with Contiki send me a private message with your first and last name (as written on your passport) and email and I'll send you a referral that will get you $100 worth of additional trip stuff (tons of stuff is included with the tour price, but extra trips, like Gondola rides in Venice and dinner and a Mozart concert in Vienna are optional - the $100 goes towards these!).
It was definitely a whirlwind tour - a dozen or so cities in a month - but it was perfect! I got a nice taste of each city, and when I have more time to travel I can say "I'd love to see more of Paris," or "I've seen enough of Switzerland" (not necessarily my real thoughts, just examples). I always knew I wanted to travel, so I had been saving up money for about a year (once I figured out I'd be graduating early), and then put the rest on credit cards (not really recommended, but I don't regret it for a second). As a graduation gift my dad gave me some spending money, and then I was ready to go! I packed clothes that was all the same color palette so I could mix and match everything, bought a sturdy carry-on bag with a full zipper closure to prevent pick-pocketing (pick-pursing?) and an international outlet adapter thing that never actually worked. But that's the beauty of traveling with fifty other strangers - they will very soon become your friends, and then you can borrow their adapters.

December 29, 2011

New Year's Eve in Paris

Yesterday afternoon it hit me. Exactly two years ago, I was on a plane going to London all by myself. I had just graduated college a semester early and saved up enough money (plus a little help from some plastic) for a month long trip to Europe. I didn't care that I was going all by myself, or that I had never been out of the country before, or that my entire family had just watched Taken and were all convinced I would be kidnapped and sold as a sex slave. I was going to Europe. And man did I make the right choice - I had the time of my life with amazing strangers who became amazing friends. It would take dozens of posts to even begin to describe the trip - so instead here are a few pictures from some of the cities I visited. Have you ladies traveled? I want to hear!

December 28, 2011

New Year's Eve Dresses

{Clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8}

It's crazy to think that we are already in the last few days of 2011. This has been an amazing year with tons to be thankful for, including starting this blog and getting to know all of you fabulous readers! I hope you find some New Year's Eve inspiration in these dresses and the makeup look!

December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve Outfit

The simple outfit I wore for our Christmas Eve party at my house! It was a wonderful night full of laughing, dancing, drinking and pretty much just being merry with the people I love most. I almost died when I saw this dress at the Salvation Army - I knew it would make a chic Christmas Eve outfit! Although I originally wanted to wear a red lip (as I did in this video) I thought a smoky eye and nude lip would be perfect with the red dress. I hope all of you that celebrate the holidays got to spend it with the ones you love!
Dress, thrifted
Tights, Target
Shoes, boutique in the French Riviera

December 26, 2011

Satin Bow and Basics

Happy Monday/day after Christmas/Boxing Day! I hope you all had wonderful holiday weekends and are enjoying an extra day off if you can! I had a wonderful time with family and friends and will share more later, but for this morning I just wanted to share a simple outfit I wore for a casual dinner and a movie last week. I love my cheap little satin bow shoes from Payless!
Sweater, Rainbow
Pants, Charlotte Russe
Shoes, Payless
Coat, Old Navy

December 23, 2011

Sweater Dress

A comfy sweater dress is the perfect piece to have in your closet for those days you have no idea what to wear. Just throw it on with some tights, add a belt to break it up a bit, and throw on some boots, and you've got a simple cold-weather outfit in no time!

Dress, Marshalls
Tights, Target
Belt, thrifted
Boots, Jessica Simpson

I hope you all have wonderful Fridays and if traveling I hope you get to your destinations safely! Tomorrow I'll be posting a little Happy Holidays note, and then spending the rest of the weekend with family! 

December 22, 2011

Rocker Fur

This is actually an outfit I snapped some pictures of last month. I wasn't going to share it with you all, not because I didn't like the outfit, but because I thought it didn't fit what my style normally is and what perhaps you've come to expect of me. And then I realized, that's rubbish! Although my style can usually be described as simple and (hopefully) chic, we shouldn't be boxed in by what our usual style is. We can have fun with fashion, and not feel locked down to our styles - this is me having fun with an outfit a little beyond my daily looks, more rocker than anything else I think? Of course, I do always have fun with my style, it's just usually a bit more muted than this.
Top, Delia's
Vest, Pants & Boots, Charlotte Russe

December 21, 2011

Heartbreak Sweater

Our hearts are delicate organs. I mean, they pump non-stop from the 6th week of our lives when we were little bugs until our last breath, so they definitely have the stamina. But man oh man, do they break easily, some more easily than others. I like to think my heart is armored up pretty well, but we've all felt heartbreak. One of my biggest? Sarah Jessica Parker's super chic budget-friendly line, Bitten, biting the dust after it's exclusive carrier Steve & Barry's went bankrupt. {I kid, there is so so so much to life and heartbreak than silly clothes.} But seriously, do any of you remember this line? If you don't, good, you don't have to deal with the heartbreak. But this was a perfect line if there ever was one - perfectly fitting sweaters, chic tops, pants I didn't even have to get tailored! The colors must have been selected from my very own personal color palette. And of course the prices - unbeatable, unbelievable really! But alas, all good things come to an end. This sooner than many; all I have left are a couple of pieces - this wool sweater being one of them.
Sweater, Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker
Tank and Bag, Target
Pants, Charlotte Russe
Pumps, Guess

December 19, 2011

Secret Santa Gift Ideas

For those of you who like to live life on the edge, who downright enjoy the thrill of waiting until the last minute to do your holiday shopping, here you have it - the Secret Santa under $25 gift guide for procrastinating elves. I will raise my hand unashamedly and admit I have not started any of my Christmas shopping, but now that I'm on vacation it will get done!
These gifts run the gamut of ladies from your beauty lover to your liquor-loving friend and all the way to your quirky cousin.

(1) Have plants? Then you need this adorable watering can. I can't say anything else about it, it's an elephant watering can! ($12)

(2) This travel-friendly set includes cleanser, cream, lip balm, and even shaving cream in the cutest little packaging! ($18)

(3) Any lady would love this set of lip glosses. With a wide range of colors (my favorite is kitten), she'll get tons of use out of these! ($25)

(4) Who doesn't love candles? Anyone that likes pretty things will appreciate this beautiful gold candle; when they use the whole candle they can re-purpose it as a makeup brush holder! ($18)

(5) Four gorgeous polishes from Essie's Winter '11 Collection. No description needed! ($17)

(6) Do you die a little inside when you throw out a tube of toothpaste knowing darn well there's still some left in there? Ok maybe you don't, but your friend might! For any gadget loving friends, this tube-wringer is as cool as it gets. ($22)

(7) Nobody re-gifts alcohol. It's a time-tested fact. Captain Morgan Private Stock - smoothest rum around. ($24)

(8) This book of cocktails is perfect for any friend that likes hosting events. ($10)

(9) For your worry wart friend you can't help but love - a beautiful minimergency kit - complete with hairspray, dental floss, nail polish remover, deodorant, stain remover, double sided tape, safety pins, advil, earring backs... I could go on but I'll stop. ($15)

For more info on any of these items just click the number before the description! Happy Last Minute shopping!

December 16, 2011

Holiday Party!

Wednesday I had an exam. I had to interview and examine a patient in the hospital. I do this every week with the same doctor who teaches me his ways - but this time I had a new doctor who would be observing my ways. And this time my patient was on all types of precautions - I had to gown up, glove up, and put on a mask (I looked like the people at the bottom in yellow, except with gloves and a mask). I had never done this before, which made the exam a little different (on top of the doctor hovering over me taking notes on my every move). Needless to say it was a stressful time, but the good news (and the point of this post) was that I left the hospital on time and got to celebrate with some blogger loves. Still being in semi-doctor mode, I forgot to take pictures, but with a bar full of bloggers I didn't have to worry!

 Jennifer of Jennifer March, Emily of So Anthro, me, Sarah of Hemenway Street.
 Brittany of Brilliance of B, Smita of Hogger and Co, Najeema of A Stylized Hysteria, me.
 Helena of The Honey Flower Girl, me, Smita (love her face!).
The lovely co-host of the evening, {AV} of Long Distance Loving. Loved seeing her again!

This is the gown I had to wear in the hospital. Thank goodness I didn't wear it to the party! Instead I wore a black turtleneck, black pants, black boots, my fur stole, and red lips!

Top, H&M
Pants, Charlotte Russe
Boots, Chinese Laundry
Fur stole, GAP
Bag, thrifted

P.S. Special thanks to Smita, Najeema, and Kiki for letting me use their gorgeous pictures! You ladies are amazing photographers!

December 15, 2011

Bruins and Sequins

In my weekend recap I mentioned going to an event that my lovely friend Nina invited me to. It was a private event hosted by Burberry and GQ at the Burberry Store on Newbury Street, proceeds of which went to Brad Marchand's charity for pediatric cancer patients, Brad's Brigade. Of course I didn't buy anything (Burberry is a little beyond my budget) but the event was a great time nonetheless. Here's what I wore (yup, put on the scarf as a skirt again).
Top, F21
Scarf/Skirt, Charlotte Russe
Tights, Target
Pumps, ZigiSoho
Bag, thrifted

Here are some pictures from the event with some of my gorgeous Harvard Med ladies and I enjoying the drinks (the yummy cinnamon pear cocktail, apple cider, and champagne were delightful) and sweets (fig tarts and chocolate caramel truffles anyone?). To top off the night we all got to meet the Bruins players Campbell and Marchand, who were both chill guys, joking about being intimidated by our intelligence (which is why I don't like dropping the 'Harvard' bomb, lol). Wonderful night with wonderful ladies! Thanks for inviting us, Nina!
{Shekinah, Gregory Campbell, Me, Amanda, Brad Marchand, and Nina}

December 13, 2011

Night Out: Thrifted Gold and Black Dress

Here's what I wore this weekend to the Nutcracker! I fell in love with this dress the instant its' shimmering gold lace caught my eye at the Salvation Army. When I saw the $6 price tag I fell even deeper in love. With a little imagination I knew this dress would be perfect for a holiday event (scroll down to the bottom to see how it fit without any adjustments on my part).
  Here's how the dress fit when I first put it on. It hit right at my knees and felt a bit... mature. So I added a thin belt at the waist, cinched it up and let the top fold over the belt! Voila! I kept the shoulder pads just how they were; I loved the extra architecture it added to the dress. Add some opaque tights, sky-high suede heels, and the cutest little bow ring and the dress went from {80's wedding} to {holiday chic} in no time! I finished the look with gold-tones on my eyes and winged liner, keeping the rest of my makeup super simple, and I was ready for our fancy night out at the ballet!

Dress and purse, thrifted
Tights, Target
Pumps, ZigiSoho
Ring, Charlotte Russe

Thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

December 12, 2011

A Little Bit of Weekend

Just a few shots from the weekend - the gorgeous public library, lots of yummy food, and friends!
I hope your weekends were perfect and you all have lovely weeks! As always thank you so much for reading!

December 11, 2011

Wrapped in Black

A simple all black outfit I wore on Saturday. The temperatures were finally appropriate for December, temperatures at which a warm scarf and sweater are necessities. These pictures were taken in front of my new favorite study spot - the gorgeous Boston Public Library. Medical school finals are this week, as I'm sure is the case for many of you in school - so good luck with your papers and exams, and remember, break is so close!
Sweater, thrifted
Jeans and Boots, Charlotte Russe
Scarf, H&M
Jacket, Macy's

December 9, 2011

Friday's Fancies: Office Holiday Party

Here's a fun but work appropriate (and cozy) outfit for an office holiday party. Unfortunately these parties usually aren't really parties, they're a quick break during the work day, after which you resume your normal work. Or they come at the end of the work day, without a chance to change in between. Either way this outfit works perfectly! A warm grey cardigan and opaque tights make the sequin skirt more subdued and work appropriate. The suede pumps are my favorite for winter, and the Reed Krakoff bag is the perfect work tote. Accessorize with a classic charm necklace and boyfriend watch, and you're ready to party (and work). Happy Holidays, and enjoy the weekend!

Make sure to check out Long Distance Loving for other Holiday Party inspired outfits!

December 8, 2011

Eggnog and Rum

I wasn't going to share this drink recipe with you all. Not because I wasn't taught good manners in kindergarten, but because I naively assumed everyone knew about eggnog and rum. This weekend I made this drink and one of my friends had never had it before! So to make sure no happy soul goes without trying this classic holiday drink, here is how I make eggnog and rum. Simple drink recipe is an understatement. Here's what you'll need:
  • 4 ounces eggnog (from a carton or homemade)
  • 2 ounces spiced rum (Captain is my all-time fave)
  • Cinnamon
  • Ice
Mix the eggnog, rum, and ice in a martini shaker or with a spoon (just make sure you mix well). Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Use the liquid measurements only as a beginning point, you may want to add more or less rum. Eggnog does an incredible job of hiding the rum's taste, so if you actually like to taste the rum in your drink, you're going to have to add a lot. And then this drink will sneak up on you!

December 7, 2011

Sequin Skirt and Chambray

Yesterday I had a moment. You know, the moments you know will stick with you forever? The ones that, if kid friendly, you'll tell your grandchildren all about? Yeah, that kind of moment. And it wasn't kid friendly. Yesterday I did my first pelvic exam. And rectal exam. Meaning I had my finger(s) in a nice lady's orifice(s) I won't name. Yup.
Given the disturbing images this "moment" of mine may bring up in your mind,  I decided to share a very "happy" outfit. It doesn't get happier than gold sequins! This of course isn't what I was wearing for the exam, I sort of wish I was though. Perhaps I could have used the reflective properties of the skirt to shine more light on my area of interest.
In all seriousness, though, after yesterday I felt that much closer to being a real doctor. I couldn't have been more thankful to my patient and her willingness to let me perform the exams.

On a separate note, my gold sequin skirt isn't really a skirt. 
It's an "infinity scarf" I received free with some purchase last season from Charlotte Russe and didn't know what the hell to do with.  This is my perplexed face.
This is what I do with infinity scarves.

Top, Delia's
"Skirt"/Scarf, Charlotte Russe
Pumps, Max Studio

Check out Pretty Shiny Sparkly for more sequins!

December 6, 2011

My Holiday Decor

 Just a few shots of the Christmas decorations Dave and I put up this year. I never get a tree because I never actually spend Christmas at my apartment, but not having a tree doesn't mean you can't use ornaments! How do you all do your holiday decorating? I'm a sucker for all things gold and sparkly, can you tell? 

For more Holiday posts check out my Christmas Wish List and my Casual Holiday Party outfit!
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