Monday, April 30, 2012

My Birthday Weekend in Boston

I had such a great time in Boston! I loved the city as much as I expected I would.

My visit was Saturday, April 14th and my birthday Sunday, April 15th. The Boston Marathon was on Monday, so we saw a lot of runners. It was the first weekend of the season that the famous Swan boats were operating.

After arriving at Logan Airport early Saturday morning, my travel partner J and I quickly dropped off our carryon in the hotel room and then jumped in a cab and headed for the North End, the Little Italy of the city. Lots of Italian restaurants, cafes and shops line two long streets, Hanover and Salem Streets. Naturally, we spent a lot of time here. J and I had coffee (cappuccino for me and caffe macchiato for J) at Caffe Vittoria and then we had pastries/ desserts at Mike's Pastry next door. Next, we strolled the rest of Hanover Street in the sunshine.

Caffe Vittoria


The fudge cupcake at the very popular Mike's Pastry is delicious!

Caffe Vittoria and Mike's Pastry on Hanover Street in the North End.

We stumbled upon the outdoor market at Haymarket in attempt to find a subway or "T" stop to go and meet my college friend F who was driving in to spend the day with us. She actually met us at the Haymarket stop and we proceeded to go on a hop on, hop off trolley tour and were entertained by the tour guide/driver. We took about half the tour in order to hop off near the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The art was personally collected by Isabella. Some of the most notable masterpieces included a self portrait by Rembrandt and Giotto's Christ Child in the Temple. My favorite part of the museum was the building itself. It was modelled after a Venetian palazzo. The architecture decorating the courtyard was stunning. This exotic city was Isabella's favorite destination.

and a Ancient Roman Mosaic in the Middle.

We hopped back on the trolley and finished the route, with another guide. Then, we checked out the indoor/ outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment district called Faneuil Hall Marketplace and enjoyed New England and Boston fare at a famous restaurant called Durgin Park Restaurant there.

We showed F the North End and then the three of us enjoyed amazing gelato at Caffe Vittoria. I loved my cookie dough flavor! I bought my souvenir there, an espresso cup and saucer with the establishment's logo printed on it. Walking past those beautiful Italian restaurants over and over convinced me that I had to dine in one of them!

We found the Irish bar with traditional Irish music, mainly instrumental, during the late afternoon. J had a Guinness which I tried, but I stuck with a light beer. While there, F left us to return home. It was so great to see her!

J and I wandered in and out of shops at Faneuil Hall, checked out the enticing food court inside Quincy Market and watched the street performer in that area-- a guy escaping from a straitjacket hanging upside down this time. We wandered back to our nice Convention Center hotel, the Westin Boston Waterfront, and had drinks and split a delicious appetizer flatbread pizza at one of its restaurants.

The Skyline at Night
Close to Our Hotel

The next morning, on my actual birthday, I opened my birthday gift from J. It was a charm of St. Christopher, Patron Saint of Travel, for my charm bracelet. And it was perfect; he actually ordered it off of my Amazon.com wishlist.

We went back to the North End for a decadent dessert breakfast again. To Mike's Pastry again. You see their string-tied white logo-ed boxes everywhere. And you wonder what they picked up, at least I do! A cannoli or cupcake or something else?? We checked out posted menus along Hanover Street and I decided on a restaurant for lunch.

Next, we took the T to a beautiful mall named the Prudential Center and another upscale mall called Copley Place for some browsing (...and an incident that I won't get into!). At the time, I was receiving many birthday wishes via smartphone. Thank you to everyone!

For lunch, we made our way back to the North End to my chosen restaurant, Dolce Vita Ristorante. Without much of a front to the restaurant, we dined alfresco. Flower window boxes placed over the railings held hyacinths and pansies. Huge paintings with very thickly applied paint decorated the interior. I thoroughly enjoyed my Fettuccine Primavera and the bread basket and glass of red wine.


After wandering around the Faneuil Hall area again a bit, watching the street performers-- a group of guys dancing and flipping over members of the audience, it was time to pick up the carryon and head to the airport. Even though there are many lines, the subway system was fairly easy to figure out.

I love Boston and would like to return. If I had the chance to live there, I would. As close to the North End as possible of course!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Style Sunday: My Charm Bracelet

I love my charm bracelet. I love that a piece of adornment can reveal so many of your memories and identity in symbol form and in a creative way. Studying art history for years, I am fascinated with symbols. Usually I love fairly dainty jewelry, but I do adore this chunky piece. I look forward to keep adding to it.

Nina Garcia included the very personal charm bracelet in her book, The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own.

This is mine:

From the left to the right, a roaming gnome (for travel), a gondola (for Venezia e Italia), one of the wheels of numbers from a combination luggage lock (for when I sold luggage for a living), a globe (for travel), St. Christopher-Patron Saint of Travel (to protect me in my travels), a flip flop (for my Fort Lauderdale/ Miami Trip of Summer 2008), a diamond (which is my birthstone and for my love of my birthday), a glass of red wine (for my love of vino rosso), a friendship necklace pendant (for my friendship with J since 1994), a quatrefoil (for my love of art history), and the heart charm the bracelet came with.



Learn more about the story of St. Christopher here.
This is the last one I added. J gave it to me as a birthday gift during our trip to Boston.

Do you have a charm bracelet? If so, what's on it?

busybusybusy

In this post, I actually promised multiple entries throughout the past week, but have been so busy that I have failed to get them in. I plan on writing as much as possible today and tomorrow. I will post on the subjects promised in addition to today's Style Sunday, hopefully drafting most of them on these next two days off of mine and to be posted this week. I'll do my best.

Even though I have adopted a regular sleep schedule (including rising early even on days off in order to get things done) and a fairly regular cleaning schedule (of my beloved apartment home) since about New Year's, I still need to make a routine of working on posts a few days a week. I also need to sit down to write to my Italian penpal on a weekly basis since she has been without a letter for a long while now. I am an awful penpal to her! It seems I am good at cultivating good habits and just need to keep going with it. I like that this public forum will make me hold myself accountable even more. I am usually a woman of my word.

I left my camera cord at a friend's during the week I was without a reliable internet connection and didn't bring my camera cord to upload my pictures from Boston back to my place until Thursday morning.

Three recent highlights...

The Friday before last, my mom and I went to see The Lucky One. How could I say "no" when she asked me to go to see "a Michelle movie?" As either love stories or romantic comedies are often called that among different circles of mine. It was good. After the movie, my mom and I went out to a very nice bar to eat dinner and have a drink. I had a French Dip sandwich and it was very delicious. She raved over her cup of cream of crab. Not to say that the food isn't great, but usually the drinks are the real stars here... The food this time was amazing.

Wednesday night, J took me to an opera his cousin stage managed at the University of Maryland. It was pretty entertaining, but it being a weeknight, we ducked out halfway through, at intermission.

Friday night, I prepared dinner for two of my girlfriends. I served Shake 'N Bake porkchops, fresh green beans and mashed potatoes. After that and lots of girl talk, we went out for a snowball from a stand they love. I ordered a root beer one, which is my old favorite flavor. Since I worked at a snowball stand for at a couple of summers around ages 15-16 and consumed all concoctions all day, I've actually tired of them and can count the number of snowballs I've had since quitting that job on one hand. My first spoonful of it really took me back, back to those memories. It was really good. My friends reported that they loved this place for their high quality marshmellow, but the snowball without it was great too. I'll have to go back sometime this summer...


A Surprise



My travel partner and friend J is in the military and is moving along to his next post in a couple of weeks. Awhile ago, I had asked him if there was anything he wanted to do in Maryland before leaving. At the moment, he couldn't come up with anything, so I suggested going to my favorite bar, the Galway Bay Irish Pub, which happens to be in the state capital of Annapolis. He's a beer connoisseur and I adore the ambiance there, so I thought it would be fun. We could have a farewell drink there.

About a week before our Boston trip, he asked if I wanted if I wanted to go on the Wednesday following our return from the trip. Sure! If we go out, it seems to be more often on that particular day of the week than not, so that's nothing out of the ordinary.

It took me awhile to pick him up in the next town over from mine and then drive us to Annapolis. He mentioned that he was hungry on the way, so when we arrived at dinnertime, I simply walked right up to the hostess and asked to be seated in the dining room. I've only been to the bar a few times, never to the dining room. The hostess seated us in the corner. We enjoyed beer and traditional Irish fare (including a possibly not so traditional yet delicious corned beef poppers appetizer!). He had asked me for the time like three times over the course of the evening, but he's one always with questions, so I didn't think anything of that either. It was a weekday night. Plus, it took us a pretty long time to drive as I prefer a route without interstates.

During dinner, I informed J that one of the other diners out of his line of sight had an accordion. He simply shrugged in reply. All of a sudden, at 8 o'clock on the dot, a guy stood up and said they were going to start singing chanteys or Irish nautical songs! One by one, a single guy sang out lyrics and the rest of them, about seven other gentlemen, sang along at the chorus. They pretty much sang a cappella, only to their own beat on the table or possibly to that aforementioned accordion. In the corner, we were surrounded by these eight guys scattered around a half a dozen tables. I loved it! I had wanted to go see traditional Irish music in Boston, but we happened to catch an underwhelming happy hour show where we found ourselves more talking amongst ourselves than listening to the more instrumental music. Anyway, we were even invited to sing ourselves, or be serenaded.

A bit into the performances, I turned to J and stated "I did not plan this!" To my disbelief, he replied that he actually had! It took me a bit to believe him. I simply adore surprises. We enjoyed just over a half hour of music and then left. Walking out of the restaurant on one of the equally quaint Annapolis streets, J explained that about a week after I mentioned this place, a friend told him he was out to dinner and all of a sudden, people started singing and it was awesome! J then researched it online and found that this group meets at this particular pub on select Wednesday nights. This group seems to be called the Ship Company's Chanteymen. You can read more about "this jolly band of merrymakers" and view their schedule here.


If you happen to live in anywhere near Annapolis, I highly recommend you go! And better yet, surprise someone with the chantey singing!

And thank you J!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Style Sunday: Pretty Picks

I need a top that is bright...


...and one that is white.




I would also love a little white dress that is perfect for the summer...


which would go with these mother-of pearl earrings for a touch of shimmer.

*edit: Saw these in store and they are simply too large for me.*



Plus a polka dot swimsuit that's pretty chic!


Here's hoping it's all very cheap!

~~~~~

My internet service was just restored this afternoon.
Because I haven't had a reliable connection for over a week, I haven't been blogging. Sorry!

Stay tuned this week for posts about my birthday trip to Boston, an unexpected experience, and a book I highly recommend. At the very least!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Style Sunday: Alittle Lace

When this post is published, it will be my 28th birthday! And I'll be in Boston!

Anyway, on to the subject of style.


I hardly buy any new clothing, but happened to hit the mills mall on Monday and spontaneously purchased this black sleeveless v-neck cotton blend top with lovely lace overlay on the top, front. My sister works at the store, the Ann Taylor Factory Store, so I could have used her discount but the sale discount was even better. Usually I don't like trends, but this item stood out as something I would actually purchase. I've gotten so picky and will only spend my teeny bit of slush money on a piece of clothing if it's absolutely perfect. Not only does it look nice on me, but it feels pretty comfortable too. I am thrilled to wear a new article of clothing sometime on my trip to Boston. Maybe Saturday night.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Style Sunday: Azaleas in April

Having grown up with azaleas in the front yard, I finally have one of my own!

Azaleas like morning sun, so I have it at the eastern end of my north-facing balcony.

my birthday gift to myself

Stewartstonian Azalea

I love it!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Italy Memory: Easter

In celebration of Easter, I am posting this Italy memory of mine which details my Easter Sunday during my study abroad experience in 2005 and the few days following spent traveling. I visited Bologna and Florence with my two German roommates, F and C. (This is actually not drafted from my memory but is a slightly edited version of a livejournal post typed up immediately after the events. Since this was seven years ago, I tried to keep my 20-year-old self's voice, just for fun.)

On Easter or Pasqua, my roommates and I ate a delicious breakfast. (Didn’t have any chocolate 'til after breakfast. Really! And I started on my chocolate bunny that my parents sent me.) Both my roommates and I snuck Easter gifts to one another to the kitchen table in the middle of the night. After breakfast, they presented me with my Easter presents- they got me a huge Milka chocolate bar with nuts (which is the German brand I fell for), Fruitella candies (which are exactly like Starburst minus the cherry flavored pieces), and postcards to decorate my room with. They are so sweet! I think they liked my gifts to them. Inside F's large hollow chocolate egg there were two Milka cow (white with purple patches) water squirters- he´ll have tons of fun with them (and much to his fiancee C's dismay, he already has, LOL). I read for awhile- a book called Save Karyn about this shopaholic who racked up thousands in debt and then created a website asking people for a dollar to pay it off. It was pretty good, I went through it pretty quickly. Around 4 o'clock, I called home and spoke with both of my parents. K (my sister) has been driving a lot, with her new license. Sunday night, C made a lovely Easter dinner, featuring the traditional lamb. (I also remember a dove-shaped cake, also traditional.) E, who was my closest study abroad friend and hailed from Estonia, came over and we talked for a bit, we showed each other pictures from our recent and separate trips to Rome.

Easter Morning in the Kitchen

I had such an awesome time on my vacation! My roommates and I ran to the train station a bit after 3 AM Tuesday (that kinda took a lot out of me!). Our train was scheduled to leave at 3:26 and did a bit after that. There were six seat booths with an aisle of wall fold-out seats- so full and everyone was asleep. So we had to stand up for over an hour and then finally got three of those aisle seats. (I came for an experience right? LOL) I guess it took about 4 hours to get to Bologna. We arrived before sunrise. Had an espresso at a bar and tried to figure out how to get to our hotel. We dropped off our luggage at the hotel, (had it tagged so it could sit in the lobby). Then, we had breakfast at a bar- I had a yummy swirl pastry with cranberries in it and an espresso. We toured the city- looking at all these churches, very old churches (like 5th Century old) and walked through many of the colonnaded porches (which Bologna is famous for). Bologna is a very old and beautiful city. We had lunch at McDonalds and dinner at a nice pizzeria restaurant. My roommates and I only split up once so I could go to this one art museum (the Pinacoteca for 14th to 16th Century art, by Bolognese artists, of course, which included Guido Reni and the Carracci Brothers) the hour before closing and they could check out this special architecture. (F studies architecture.) We also walked around after dinner to experience the city at night, it was nice, kinda deserted though- everything closed at 8, we suspected the piazza would be filled at the same time during the summer months. The hotel room in Bologna was really nice. The complimentary breakfast was so yummy, I had two pastries and fruit punch. (This fruit punch I later discovered was actually my first try of blood orange juice that I adore.)

My Personal Photos of Bologna:

Bologna just before dawn

One of the porticos of Bologna
Those two tall thin blonds are my German roommates.

Neptune near Piazza Maggiore

Ha! This was posted in a window.

Florence was soo great. We took a train there around 9 I guess on Wednesday morning. We deposited our luggage at the Florence train station and then figured out which bus went to Piazzale Michelangelo (for a panoramic view of the whole city) and where to buy the tickets. This view was sooo fantastic!!! It's one of my favorite things of the whole trip. You could really see the whole city across the river. We had beautiful weather. I shopped around at the several stands spread out along this point. Then, we took an espresso outside where we could take in the view. There were two Asian couples getting their wedding pictures done, and getting observed by us. We explored Firenze, doing the touristy things, taking lots of pictures. Saw the Duomo which is the main cathedral and then we climbed so many (god… so many!) stairs to the top of the dome- the cupola to check out the view from there, also fantastic. I wasn't so inclined to hang over the ledge. F "comforted" me with "Don't worry, Michelle, there's nothing underneath you." Grazie... We had amazing gelato near the Ponte Vecchio (the bridge lined with gold jewelry stores). I bought a really nice address book with light pink flowers all over it (which I still use to this day). We saw the David at the Accademia gallery, he was great! While F was sketching, C and I looked around; they had a few other rooms of art. Right next to the David, there was a computer were you could turn a 3D image of him (all of him, his head, his sling, and his hand) all around and have a light source change all sorts of ways. C was being goofy and asked him silly yes or no questions and had his head shake up and down or to the sides depending upon his answer. After that, we ate at a Chinese restaurant for dinner. We then took a bus far into the “suburbs” to get to our hostel. Three guys got on the bus, who turned out to be going to the hostel too so, luckily, they led us there from the bus. Which was uphill on a long, very dark road, a couple of miles. The only lights were vehicle headlights driving past. The three of us each paired off and talked to one of these three guys. And I got the British guy! :) R's from Bath, and had just arrived to Florence that day from Venice. Since it was dark, we couldn’t see the amazing scenery that surrounded the place 'til the next day. The hostel was okay, freakin' cold at night. There were two beds in each divided little room (their walls only like 7 feet high I guess, the doorway was covered with a curtain on a rod), two rows of these little rooms lined a big cathedral-ceilinged room. The bathroom was just off this big room. I got my own little room to myself.

C read the historical sign the next morning, the place was built in 1214 and nuns took care of ill people there. Thursday morning we had the complimentary hostel breakfast (rolls, butter, cheese, meat, coffee, tea, tangerines, a cereal were set out) with the three guys. The Swedish and German guy (who studied together in Switzerland) left after alittle while. The British guy stayed and talked to F and C about their countries´ government, employment, things like that. A girl from Ohio (studying in Spain) sat down with us too. My roommates and I walked down(hill) to the bus stop, taking some pictures of the farmland and the view of Florence on the way. On the bus, we were joined by the British guy again (God was smiling down on me! LOL…) who apparently took the wrong bus to the city. The four of us explored the city together. :) It was the British guy's first day there so we pointed out the tourist sites that he must see the next couple of days (after a few days in Florence, his next city is Rome, (which I later realized put him there when Pope John Paul II died)). We explored and shopped around. We went to look around in the market (a farmer's market with all kinds of food) which was lined with touristy vendors of leather products, scarves, Florence souvenirs, etc. C bought a fuschia fedora (which F showed us how to wear a couple of times…) I bought a leather wallet in a store near the Ponte Vecchio, pretty much a black version of my old pink wallet, it's cute (and is the wallet I still use seven years later). I loved hanging out with the British guy, he was very cute and very nice. I loved hearing him speak, saying things were "lovely" or "brilliant." :) They had an espresso and I had a hot chocolate. Later we had our (daily) gelato. After 3 we had to look for a place to eat so we could be at the train station at 5 to go back to Pescara, we found a place on the piazza beside Santa Croce and ate outside at a great pizzeria. R came to the station with us so he could purchase some bus tickets. We had to part from him around 5. :( My room mates and I got on a train to Bologna at 5:30 and then switched trains there at 7:30 to get back home to Pescara after 11 o'clock.

Personal Photos of Florence:

a piazza and the warm-colored buildings lining it

the reproduction of the David where the original first stood

detail on the Duomo

Florence from atop the Duomo


That road from our hostel to the bus stop to Florence!
You can imagine how dark it can be!

view from Piazzale Michelangelo

I hope you enjoyed my memories! I love Bologna and might consider living there. Railroad tracks radiate out of this centrally-located city. I could be anywhere else quickly, what an amazing home base! This stunning city is also known for its university. I love a college town. Not to say that Florence isn't amazing and art-filled!

Buona Pasqua!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Upcoming Italian Movie: To Rome with Love

A friend just showed me this trailer. Go on and click on it, it's hilarious.

To Rome With Love

It's for a new Woody Allen film (written, directed and starring) entitled To Rome With Love. It will be released in the USA on June 22nd. In Italy, you only have to wait a couple more weeks until April 20th.

It is "A story about a number of people in Italy, some American, some Italian, some residents, some visitors, and the romances and adventures and predicaments they get into" (imdb.com).

In addition to Woody Allen, it stars Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg, Penelope Cruz and Alec Baldwin. So, it should be really fun!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Daydreaming on Days Off

I have been pretty poor lately. I truly try to look on the bright side of things. Furthermore, I attempt to be the chic, sophisticated woman living her life intentionally and well despite a strict budget. To make frugality fabulous ...but it's difficult. This poverty's been getting me down lately, maybe resulting in fewer blog posts... With less in my fridge, freezer and cabinets, geez, maybe I'm just hungry! ...and decaffeinated! (Although I am so grateful that I have been getting some help with food from my wonderful friends and family.) Also not going out too much, I have way too much time to think!

Daydreamer that I am, I've been letting my mind wander about what's next. Set on living in Italy again, I want to live in one of those teeny apartments I see on the TV show House Hunters International. I imagine myself on a train in that country and hopping off at a station simply because the town has a beautiful name! Before that, I want to fall deeply in love and have that (lucky) guy surprise me just because. (I love surprises.) I want to work in Study Abroad, inspiring others to change their lives like that particular experience revolutionized mine. I want to move downtown in a big city. To experience the many things that a city has to offer. I picture myself walking to a fantastic little Italian espresso bar for a cappuccino in a mug for breakfast or to a charming bar for a glass of red wine for happy hour, giving up my car and driving. I want more culture than a suburb offers (although a suburb in Maryland is much more culturally diverse than other places!). I even want to cohabitate with a roommate(s) in that city apartment, so all of my money doesn't go to rent and bills, so I don't deprive myself so much. So when my stovetop espresso maker breaks, I don't wait two weeks to even order its replacement online. I am definitely ready for a new social scene. Preferably in a city surrounded by many young professionals. I love my friends here, unconditionally in fact, but I at least need that really close and local girlfriend that I do everything with and can tell these sorts of things to. I want to throw myself into new situations. At least it will be exciting because it's new to me. At least I've got dreams and goals...


Happy Hour in the City

Don't get me wrong, I am happy and living my dream with living alone in my beautiful apartment. I am relishing it. When I do have some money, I often use it to entertain here. I love the little things like making my own meals and serving them on my own plates of my own selection. I love being independent and my own apartment is the ultimate symbol of that. I have loved every single second of it. I usually didn't discuss the misery I was in living with my parents in a house in embarassing condition. So, despite limited available funds, I don't regret moving out. However, it completely sucks not to have the funds to buy and do what I want, rather than just what I need. I do miss that bottle of cheap Chianti I usually have on my kitchen counter. And I couldn't afford that nor the ingredients for my planned first lasagna this pay period nor the one before that. It also sucks to worry about paying my bills so much now that my savings I moved in with has evaporated. I do realize that this was my choice. Plus, that this is the recession and I am not alone. I should be thankful for what I do have. Not that I am completely deprived, I did post that I recently purchased a curtain rod and I do buy an item at HomeGoods every once in awhile. (I love that store and since May, there's one in my hometown. Heck, restraint is walking out of that glorious store with one item, if that.) And also have the weekend in Boston in less than two weeks! However small, travel is still in my immediate future.

My Living Room towards my Balcony on the left

I have definitely learned how to be frugal. To live with less. To live within my means. I know how to combine coupons with sales at the grocery store, for example. I now consider things I used to buy on a regular basis like... a fast food meal once a week to be rather unnecessary, instead to be money I could use more efficiently now, like in this case- lunch at home for five days, and when all my money doesn't go to bills to be money saved later. This thought process has taken some time to set in though! In addition, I will continue to be pretty frugal if I should either earn more or have lower living expenses, or both. I know people (Americans especially) spend most of their income, but I hope I would save instead and pay down my debt because I'm truly sick of it holding me back in life.

So what's the plan, right? For my longterm goal of living in Italy, I would need to pay off my debt first. I would definitely need to lower my living expenses to do that. I have tried to get a roommate among a few of my own friends and family, to no luck so far. Hopefully if I break into the International Education field, I would move to a city and share an apartment and its rent. I have been subscribed to the field's professional listserv for three years, always with an eye on job vacancies. I am hopeful because there seem to be more during the spring and summer. To supplement my current employment, I've only applied for a single part-time job, maybe I should really give that a solid try... As I often work after 5, it could only be for two days a week at most though. (My days off are pretty much set now- Sunday and Monday- which I love!) Without air condititioning in my car, I wouldn't want to show up completely sweaty this summer and that kinda stops me. (I live in the same building as my office so I do not drive to work.) I escaped retail and really don't want to go back. I have also considered debt consolidation for my credit card debt in the past and simply haven't done it. Going into the busy leasing season at work, I can expect higher commission soon. I work so hard at work to get people to move in... As for falling in love, maybe I could afford a month's subscription to match.com in the next few months so I could start dating.

I'll figure it all out.


Style Sunday: Birthday Wish List

In addition to the terra cotta potted dark pink azalea bush and my celebratory trip to Boston that I posted about before, I would love something from my amazon Wish List for my upcoming birthday. (Or you may search for the list entitled "Apartment + Style Accessories" by Michelle Lynne.) I have listed some books, some clothes, some shoes but mostly furnishings for my apartment home. Although I may have to purchase the espresso maker myself soon because I killed mine last week ...and have been going through espresso withdrawl since!

Something little from my list...


I love owls!
I love that they're a symbol for wisdom
and I was technically an owl for a semester at Temple University 
and it's actually an Italy memory for me. You see, I searched for murano glass owls 
with the girl I hung out with during my first  trip to Italy because she loved them.
I already have a spot on my bookshelf for it already!



And something big...


I have always wanted a carved wooded screen.
This would decorate my living room.



My birthday is just 2 weeks away on April 15th! I absolutely love birthdays, so I can't wait!