Sunday, May 27, 2012

Style Sunday: Wishlist: For the Home

I've always wanted a carved wooden screen!

I've wanted a metal bed for awhile now...
In Queen size.
I want one with just alittle bit of scrollwork.
(My warm oak bed does not go with the rest of my darker furniture, therefore, it needs to be replaced.)

I need to upgrade from my Ikea one!
I love this collection.

My beloved quatrefoils!
The 2'7" x 4'11" size would be perfect under my balcony's bistro set.
I imagine the terra cotta color would be best...
This is fairly affordable and I actually could see myself ordering it!

I love owls...
I would love this gorgeous coffee table book from the blogger behind Little Brown Pen.
Color is a clever way to see a city!

To view my whole wishlist, click here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Things to Do: Summer 2012 Edition

To help celebrate Memorial Day Weekend and the unofficial start of summer, I have set out the following plan for an eventful season. Here are the summery things I must do:

1. savor red red tomatoes selected at a farmer's market

2. sip margaritas on my balcony with my girlfriends visiting during the middle of July

3. have a perfect beach or pool day ...maybe in a fabulous and floppy sun hat...

4. go out of town (even if just for the day or an evening, even if just to Annapolis or Baltimore)

Pinned Image
Harborplace in Baltimore

5. go for a snowball with friends

6. have a professional pedicure and then show it off in strappy sandals

7. become a bookworm--read a book a week

8. attend as many cookouts as possible--thoroughly enjoy summer food while dining alfresco

9. create a pasta salad to be a signature of mine

10. throw a fun and fabulous party

 11. get just a bit of a tan

 12. totally rock big Italian-style sunglasses

13. make a cork candle holder-- collect the corks needed by Labor Day and the end of summer

Have a sweet summer, yourself!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Exciting Job Opportunity

I want a career in international education. Specifically, I would like to work in a study abroad office on a college campus. I've actually volunteered in this very environment. In such a position, I would get to talk about Italy travel all day, with an enthusiastic audience who I would imagine to be pretty receptive of the idea of taking a leap, undergraduates. At least I was! I was thrilled (albeit nervous) to spend a semester in Italy. Plus, I took quite the leap of faith because not only was I going to a non-English-speaking country, but I remember boarding the plane knowing that the Italians had not yet finalized where I would live! Va bene. ("It goes well." Southern Europeans eventually get things accomplished.)

Back in 2008, when I had my quarter-life crisis and left art history, I went for an informational interview, where I picked the brain of a study abroad coordinator. She recommended subscription to a listserv for professionals in the field because some of the postings advertise job vacancies. So, I've been receiving about thirty emails a weekday for the past four years! They sure do fill up my inbox quickly! I've applied to just a few jobs a year, to the few ones I like and for which I am qualified. It seems entry-level jobs went out the window in the recession.

A particular opportunity has piqued my interest recently. If I get this, I would have finally broken into my dream field! Plus, this company's office is located in lovely Annapolis, Maryland. With help from my friends, I emailed my revised resume and cover letter. Even more excited to have heard back, I scheduled a phone interview for Wednesday afternoon. I will simply give it my all. ...and then, we'll see. I am ready for a change.

Wish me luck! In Italian, one says, in bocca al lupo or "in the wolf's mouth." I suppose it's the equivalent of "break a leg."

Monday, May 21, 2012

I Love Pinterest

I now have 250 pins!

My 250th Pin
on the board entitled "Style: Clothing + Accessories"
which I have also added to my Wishlist

My other boards are Cin Cin! (which is what Italians can say in toasting, so I have collected images of clinking beverage glasses here), Italia, Entertaining, Home Decor, World Traveler and Motivation.

My busiest boards are Home Decor (with 71 pins) and Entertaining (59). I love being inspired there.

An example filed under Home Decor:

Inspired by this, I recently purchased a white bath and hand towel.

From my Entertaining board:

I hope I can enjoy this recipe on this balcony this summer!

If you are interested in joining this invitation-only website, let me know. I can send an invite your way.

If you are interested in following all my pins or a particular board of mine, you can search for "italiagal" or click this link:
 Follow Me on Pinterest

*edit: I also added a Pinterest button on the right sidebar.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Style Sunday: Sprucing Up My Balcony

My Balcony Before...

and After...

Scored this Bistro Set at HomeGoods
It's black in the shade, but maybe espresso in the sun...
I would love to try and hang that lantern. Its glass panels have a quatrefoil pattern in relief.

My red gernaium, on the left, is new. I need a bit more potting soil so it can sit up higher.
I love the terra cotta pots which remind me of roofs in Italy.

It's definitely ready for margaritas!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Style Sunday: My Style Icon

I adore Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and am happy I finally have a style icon in her. She is so very pretty and put together.

Check out this gorgeous gown she recently wore:

This dress was designed by Jenny Packham.

Front and Back

Close Up of the Back

Isn't it stunningly beautiful? I love the color, the lace, the belt, and the V neck. All these elements are so flattering on her. She looks amazing.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Book Recommendation: Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)

I bought the book Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas to read on my birthday trip. In fact, I had her words in mind when I was exploring the many pastry shops of the North End in Boston.

The author is a Francophile who had a dream job opportunity in Paris and moved there for a couple of years and chronicled the majority of this exciting time in this treat of a book. Having a major sweet tooth, she details the desserts of her two home cities, New York and Paris. The reader can enjoy her many pastry shop recommendations. Before I travel to Paris (someday!), I will have to flip through it for stops for the best pain au chocolat and macaron! Her passionate writing makes it absolutely mouth-watering!

I liked how she articulated her struggle to feel at home in just one of these two cities even more than her detailed descriptions of sweets. She desperately wanted to belong. To simply decide on one city. She felt so foreign in both. Her Parisian experience was so life-changing that Manhattan didn't seem to fit either! I know from personal experience, that living abroad in a place you love changes your values. It seems to be an issue for the expat as well... Even though she did complain a lot, I found it very down-to-earth and honest. It also highlighted interesting differences in culture. A sweet was always a comfort to help get her through tough times!

Go buy or borrow it now!

Style Sunday: White Button-Down Shirt

I really want a new white button-down shirt for both work and play. It is such a classic. I have listed it as a style staple of mine before. This basic can also easily be dressed up or down. One of those highly versatile items, it can be worn different ways, so when you wear the same top twice in a week, you can achieve a different, fresh look the second time and/or take it from day to night with ease. I only have few tops for work and it is time to replace the most dingy one! I will try my best to work either a short or 3/4-sleeve version into my budget after I receive my paycheck on the 18th.

What I'm looking for is a solid one with a fitted silhouette in a cotton blend. I need to try this particular item on to see if it fits well. As I am not into trends, I do not want one embellished with ruffles or ruching or some other voluminous detail. I should have purchased a stock of white 3/4 sleeve shirts from New York & Company about four years ago before they started making them so trendy!

Here's a short-sleeve option:

...but it hides the actual buttons, which is also a feature on a more expensive option offered by Ann Taylor.

I prefer 3/4-sleeves:

...which is similiar to this shirt by Land's End.

The list of things that go with this staple is endless. I always wear jewelry. One can wear any type of jewelry with the white shirt, but I will often either go with white, like mother-of-pearl, pearl or diamond pieces, or some kind of red for a pop of color.