5 Things…To Take Note Of

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Pierre when he smells my chili cooking…RUN!

I have a massive, massive confession.

This morning, I thought that I had seen a flake or two but it was right before 11am (when I have my second coffee cup of the day) so I figured I was just seeing things. I poured myself another cup and went on with my day.

Then this afternoon, I was running around the village and soon enough it started to snow. Not just one flake. Not just two flakes. A lot, a lot of flakes. This time I was most definitely not seeing things. Right away, I felt the need to run to the grocery store and stock up on soup and other cold-weather food essentials.

So this is where my confession comes into play: as soon as the first cold-spell occurs, I begin to eat like it’s nobody’s business. You would think that I was a bear preparing to hibernate…but oh no, I just love to make soups & chilis & homemade breads & roasted chicken & roasted pork, etc.. After stocking up earlier today, I decided to start off making one of my favorites: turkey chili (recipe to be added later!). As if that wasn’t enough, I decided that in the spirit of Pumpkin Spice Season I ought to make a pumpkin-y dessert…see bonus #6 for the recipe I based my truffles on. So good.

Alrighty, time to finish eating my chili, change into my pj’s, and get back to work!

XX.

  1. Good to know this time of year: why leaves change color
  2. Stumbled upon this article which proves that a minimal wardrobe can (and does) work
  3. Not exactly new news: I love J.Crew, but they’ve created a beast out of me…here’s why
  4. Is that PSL really worth it? (No)
  5. It’s not even Halloween yet, but I’m very excited about my second annual coastal-themed Christmas tree. Currently checking out ornaments by West Elm
  6. BONUS round: what to eat if you feel disappointed by Starbuck’s altered PSL…(but actually, I never really liked those lattes anyway)
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Cheers to the Weekend!

Cheers to the Weekend!

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  1. Dear Kate, I love you. There are new arrivals at Kate Spade, and I have to say that they have me super-pumped for fall… these boots (how darling with that bow, and super chic in black?!), this bag– which is a bit of a splurge, but is super functional for every season, this blouse, because I can never resist silk – or bows
  2. To Do, Or To Do-nut? These donuts are a to-do! Adding this mint chocolate chip donut recipe by one of my fave bloggers, Christina Lane, to the “must try” list
  3. When in doubt…just sleep on it. According to this article, you won’t regret leaving the decision for tomorrow.
  4. I’m going ga-ga for gold, all day e’ry day. So excited to browse one of my other fave bloggers, Amanda Gluck’s, loot of golden favorites here
  5. I have an obsession with pillow shams and with towels…these Anthropologie new Stone Carving towels are no exception!

5 Things… to Help You Stay Focused When Working from Home

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Good morning!

There can be many perks to working in an office environment- among them, I would say that the 9am-6pm schedule and the camaraderie I had with my former coworkers were what made me enjoy an office environment the most. I tend to thrive off a specific routine, as many people do, so I absolutely loved having a reliable schedule. Beyond the routine/schedule, it was such a joy to work with people similar in age who had similar backgrounds and/or interests. I definitely miss that!

Though there are some things I miss about working in an office, I have had quite a bit of fun working from home and developing my business. I’m still learning how to maximize my time and stay on track but I’ve found that there are a handful of things that have been helpful with this.

5 Things….to Help You Stay¬† Focused When Working from Home

1. Get dressed!

I remember “spirit week” back in junior high and high school, which included the legendary “Pajama Day”. Among the five days of spirit week, “Pajama Day” was by far the favorite- after all, who wouldn’t enjoy staying in their pajamas all day? Well…staying in my pajamas all day has been awfully tempting! I’ve found that the single action of getting out of bed and getting dressed like I’m going to the office has set the productivity tone for the rest of the day, though- it’s an absolute must, in my opinion!

2. Establish a routine that works for you

Don’t judge or roll your eyes- but I am a total morning person. As in, I usually wake up between 5:30am and 6:30am and after making my morning cup of coffee I am good to go! With that said, I know that by 4pm my productivity levels have decreased significantly (cue the Nespresso machine to start brewing another cup!!). Since I’m naturally a morning person, now that I’m able to set my own schedule I know that it’s best for me to work from approximately 8am-4pm.

3. Remember to take breaks

This is a big one, and it’s one thing that is not to be messed with. After speaking with many of my friends about their jobs I’ve learned that many of them do not actually take lunch breaks. There are some days that are just so busy- I get that and I’ve definitely eaten lunch at my desk before or just had a snack to hold me over until 6pm- but one of the luxuries of working from home is that you can set up your own break times. Small breaks, beyond an actual lunch break, can be a major factor in improving productivity- for example, I know that around 11am and 2pm I often begin to stir at my desk. Rather than letting my productivity wane at those hours, I’ve set up a quick 5-15 minute break at 11 and 2 so that I can grab a healthy snack, make a cup of coffee, or take a quick walk outside. These small breaks in the day enable me to keep a steady level of productivity throughout the day.

4. Determine specific times to “check in” and check e-mails, social media, etc.

Oh goodness- this is something that I’ve definitely had to work on quite a bit! It’s just so easy to get distracted when working from home by checking my phone for texts or by reading the latest Tweets. I’ve found that even if I just meant to check my phone for a quick moment, I will soon find myself on Pinterest or on J.Crew’s sale site (so guilty of this!) and before I know it, an hour will be wasted. With this in mind, I set certain times to check my phone, my e-mails, etc. during the day so that I can stay on track and not let distractions get the best of the hours that I’m most productive during the day.

5. Be social!

It’s one of the things I miss most about working in a typical office environment- it’s fun to work with other people and share ideas, plan after-hours get-togethers, etc. I’ve definitely found that since I’m now working from home I’ve missed the amount of human interaction I used to have so I’ve made it a point to get out and work from cafes when possible, or to break up my day by meeting with friends.

Bonus tip: Keep a running to-do list

I think this pretty much speaks for itself- it helps to visualize exactly what your priorities are, so that you can plan your day accordingly and stay on track.
XO

-j.

Boozy Popsicles are Having a Moment

Is it just me…or are boozy popsicles totally having a moment right now? It seems everywhere I look online, there are recipes for these delightful adult-only desserts- not that I’m complaining or anything. After all, it’s summertime which means that it’s HOT here in New York. As I’m finding out, there’s only one way to cool off: boozy popsicles. Here are some of the favorites that I’ve found- enjoy!

 Pinot Noir-infused Blackberry Popsicles via the kitchn

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Salted Bourbon Caramel Popsicles via Autumn Makes & Does

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Horchata Pops via Dessert for Two

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Dark and Stormy Popsicle via Bakers Royale

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Raspberry & Lime Sangria Popsicles via Cooking Stoned

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xo

-j.

5 Things…to do When Throwing Together a Last-Minute Party

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It’s that time of year again…it’s summertime. Thank goodness for that, because after this winter in New York I have never wanted the season to come quite as quickly!

During certain parts of the year, I think that there is a tendency for rather random last minute dinner parties and get-togethers to happen frequently. This is especially the case in summer, and I’m not about to complain! With the warmer weather comes the ability to open your living area to include the outside (be it a terrace, a small patio or an entire backyard), to serve fresh, locally grown produce (yum), and to let the hours slip away as Daylight Savings Time is in your favor.

Here are a handful of tips to keep calm and entertain on during the peak entertainment season.

5 Things…to do When Throwing Together a Last-Minute Get-Together

1. Recruit a helper

Of course this isn’t absolutely necessary, but no matter how large or small the last-minute party is going to be I think it’s extremely helpful to recruit at least one person to help out. This person can run to the grocery store while you clean, they can assist with cooking, or even keep an early-comer entertained while you exchange your apron for your LWD (Little White Dress).

2. Keep the drinks & food simple!

I am all for cooking and baking from scratch- there’s just something so fun about being able to say that you made something (let alone having somebody ask you for your secret recipe!)- but if you’re throwing together a last-minute get-together I believe that spending slightly more on pre-cooked or pre-assembled foods like appetizers is totally worth it. Focus on quality over quantity of dishes- and please, don’t forget the dessert!

If you’re in the Hamptons, some options for specialty foods and/or excellent ready-to-eat dishes include: Schmidt’s Market in Southampton, Citarella in Southampton/Bridgehampton/East Hampton, Round Swamp Farm in Bridgehampton/ East Hampton and the Village Gourmet Cheese Shoppe in Southampton.

3. Use an internet radio service like Spotify or Songza to set the perfect mood

What would I do without Spotify? Seriously though, I listen to Spotify nearly every day. I have many tried and true stations that I’ve created myself, but when I need to quickly set the tone there are just so many perfectly curated pre-created stations. A party is just that much more fun when the ambiance is set so hit the play button and…

4. Don’t forget decor!

You’re in a rush, but thankfully it’s summer! Grab a fresh bouquet of flowers from the farmer’s market (or even the grocery store), buy some festive-colored napkins, or even assemble candles around the space you’ll be using. Remember, a little decor can go a long way.

5. Relax & don’t forget to smile

It’s as simple as that.

XO

-j.