Happy Halloween

The girls and I have had a lot of fun over the years dressing up for Halloween.  Whether it was the parties in college, hitting the bars and Boston, or playing beer pong at a house party, we bring it when it comes to having fun with costumes.  Check out some of our looks over the years.

3 Blind Mice

3 Blind Mice

3 Blind Mice

3 Blind Mice

Fire Fighter and Billy Costa from Kiss 108 at the Kiss 108 Halloween Party in Salem a few years ago

Fire Fighter and Billy Costa from Kiss 108 at the Kiss 108 Halloween Party in Salem a few years ago

Where's Waldo and Construction Worker

Where’s Waldo and Construction Worker

Road Runner and Construction Worker

Road Runner and Construction Worker

Snow White, Prom Queen and Olive Oil

Snow White, Prom Queen and Olive Oil

16 & Pregnant, Leopard, '80s Chick

16 & Pregnant, Leopard, ’80s Chick

Biker Chick, Twister, (my friend came from work) Red Riding Hood Gothic Chick

Biker Chick, Twister, (my friend came from work) Red Riding, Hood Gothic Chick

Wardrobe Wed: Back to Black

When you wake up late for work and your closet is in disarray what do reach for? Anything black!

I was way off my game this morning and needed a find a quick work appropriate outfit in my mess of a closet. It really is a disaster and yet I have no idea how it got that way… let’s blame the cats on this one…

In my rush to get ready I reached for my black Dana Buchman cotton blouse and paired it with a slate grey pencil skirt by Calvin Klein. A shimmery silver belt from Ann Taylor completed the look along with my Franco Sarto opened toe kitten heels.

Alice’s’ full look:

Back to basics!

Back to basics!

Joy paired her two favorite colors this week, black and light black.  Joy’s office hosted a large-scale event last night so by the time she got home, her outfit for today was not on the top of her mind.  She went with her favorite three-quarter length sleeve black cardigan from Marshalls, a white silk Jockey cami and a pair of Apt 9 charcoal slacks from Kohl’s.  Joy added a black and silver beaded layer necklace from Express over the simple sweater.  After a long day, morning came all too quick so this was a comfortable, understated outfit that she was able to quickly put together and get to the office on time.

Joy’s full look:

Quick and classic!

Quick and classic!

Blasic black never goes out of style!

-Alice

Prime Time Polish Up: Episode 108 – It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus

The Prime Time Polish Up is my weekly post showing off my nail polish color of the week and a review of what I binged watched.  I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations!  Comment here or tweet to me @gingercouture1 or @JoyAttardo.

It’s Halloween week!  Yes, that’s correct, days leading up to October 31st I dub Halloween week.  I love Halloween.  Dressing up in something silly, creative, or (sorry I’m not sorry) a little slutty and going out dancing with your friends is so much fun.  There are also fun size candy bars in everyone’s office.  This is actually the first year I am not dressing up for the occasion, but don’t worry, a themed 30th birthday party is in my calendar so that is how the gals and I are making up for our lack of Halloween plans.  In honor of the holiday, I went dark and ominous with my color choice , Orly Goth.

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Orly Goth and my favorite Halloween candy, York Peppermint Patty

I am not a fan of scary movies.  I like suspense thrillers but the Paranormal Activities, Exorcisms, the endless Saw series, they just don’t do it for me.  As far as Halloween movies go, do I even need to comment on Hocus Pocus? Classic. Starring Bette Midler and pre-SATC Sarah Jessica Parker.  Check out the where the cast is today.

Door Wars

OK, so this post has nothing to do with wars/battles at all BUT Gear and I have some pretty creative neighbors. Fall is in full swing and slowly over the past few weeks we I have noticed that my fellow homeowners were adding some decorative flair to their homes.

Walking around and taking pictures of the local door decor would be 1. Creepy and 2. An invasion of privacy so I took to Pinterest to find some examples for you on what the Alice household is up against:

Worthing Court: Neat and tidy fall front porch:

Perfect pumpkin patch!

DIY fall front porch, love the colors and texture of this! We can help with this mums look great in pots outside the door, just make sure that you get them into the ground before the first frost.:

Hey, scarecrow what’s up?

These Pinterest pics have some serious swagger but you get the idea. I decided to vamp up our entryway but with a “less is more” approach.

I took an after work trip to Joann’s Fabrics, my go-to store for seasonal wreaths and faux florals. Nothing beats real flowers and I love placing arrangements around the house, but when dealing with the elements I would rather go faux and know that my decorations will last through wind, rain, and snow.

I was drawn to this wreathes non-traditional “fall colors”. Cost: $20.

Creams, Greens, and Berries.

Creams, Greens, and Berries.

For our small side table I decided to create an arrangement from two separate floral bunches (sea grass and purple, green, and cream marigolds). I had the mason jar on hand and purchased three sweet pumpkins from a local grocery store. To ground the arrangement I filled my jar with gravel from our home and scattered some alongside the pumpkins. Cost: $12.

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Complimentary colors!

It took about 15 minutes to set up and I was happy to have given our little home a face lift for fall.

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Welcome Home 🙂

I would love to add a cornstalk (or two) and am on the hunt. If anyone knows of the best place to get them, or ideas on other fun decorations, comment below!

-Alice

Wardrobe Wed: Bold Patterns

This week I am on a business trip to NH and today kicks off my trek up to the granite state. Knowing I would be spending most of the day in my car to/from/ in between alumni visits I wanted to be comfortable but appropriate. For this chilly day, I went with my cream and black striped long sleeve dress from the Gap (a fall favorite). Its thick cotton fabric gives structure and warmth – perfect for hopping in and out of the car.

I paired with my …me Too Shoes kitten heels and a tan patent leather belt. With this busy pattern I went jewelry free. Stay tuned for a full post on my NH travels and packing light 101.

Alice’s full look:

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Easy, breezy, beautiful!

This is a pretty quiet week for Joy, nothing special or out of the ordinary going on at work.  Today Joy has a typical work day, back to back meetings with students and then dinner with the girls. Since Joy is going from her desk to dinner she paired a black and brown floral print Ann Taylor Loft dress with black tights and riding boots. Perfect for work and sharing a plate of nachos and laughs with her girlfriends.

Joy’s full look:

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Perfect day to evening dress!

-Alice

Confessions of a Hairdresser

So my big adventure to try the “rose gold” hue started off innocently enough. I had the day off and was excited to go to my favorite spot, LiShay Hair Design. I am lucky enough to be dear friends with the owners (and sisters), Lindsey and Shay, and while we have fun outside of work, it is always a treat to catch up while I get a new ‘do!

Shay and Lindsey – owners of LiShay Hair Design!

Lindsey has been my friend/hair stylist for many years so we are very open with each other when it comes to trying out to a new hue. She knew what I wanted to do when I came in, but gave me the low down on the pastel coloring trend.

To get that beautiful and light color (whether it be lilac, turquoise, or rose) they take a regular permanent color and dilute it down with conditioner. The amount of actual color in the mix is miniscule compared to the conditioner mixed in. While it delivers on the desired effect, it doesn’t last more than a few weeks. No. Thank you.

I am all for trying out new trends, but this girl is on a BUDGET. I opted to keep my rose gold aspirations to Pinterest and let Lindsey play around with some reds that will last well into the fall/winter season.

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Pre-cut and pre- dye! Copper gold was the base color.

As always, Lindsey worked her magic and the final result was a beautifully rich and vibrant auburn. As an experiment, she put in some rose gold highlights so I could see how quickly they would fade.

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Just call me “Cinnamon” .

True to her confession, its been a week and a half and the rose gold is no more. Luckily, my hair still looks fabulous!

-Alice

Primetime Polish Up: Episode 107 – Julianne Moore Part II

The Primetime Polish Up is my weekly post showing off my nail polish color of the week and a review of what I binged watched.  I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations!  Comment here or tweet to me @gingercouture1 or @JoyAttardo.

Nothing special or out of the ordinary this week.  Kinda weird actually.  Of course a couple dinners with friends and my daily work schedule is busy but no major events this week.  I will enjoy definitely enjoy a lighter week for a change. My polish choice is out of pure love for the color rather than planning out how I will dress and accessorize for a special occasion.  I’ve been noticing lots of dark blue and green shades of polish lately so I chose OPI Dark Side of the Mood.

OPI Dark Side of the Mood

OPI Dark Side of the Mood

I just finished reading Still Alice and immediately watched the movie.  I usually read for pleasure during my morning elliptical workout.  This was a heavy read for my morning workout entertainment but I could not put it down.  I was near tears at several points during this journey about Alice, a Harvard linguistics professor diagnosed with early onset alzheimer’s.  It was the daughter’s I identified most with.  The setting for this story took place in Boston, the personal familiarity with all the landmarks made it easy for me to connect with the characters. As a daughter, while reading this story, I was constantly putting myself the daughters’ shoes and my own family members in Alice’s situation.  This is not a far fetched story or one that exaggerated details for the sake of a good story.  Anyone could find themselves in Alice or her daughter’s situation.  The author really elicited feelings of anxiety, panic and grief as each new obstacle occurred and through the way Alice described her interactions and experiences.           

After finally seeing this blockbuster it is no surprise why Julianne Moore won the Academy Award last year.  The characters fit my imagination and brought the feelings to life. With any book to movie interpretation you lose the perspective of the internal struggle and the ability to hear the thoughts of the story teller.  I was most taken aback but the changes between the book and the movie.

In the book, Alice’s Black Berry was another appendage for her.  It was one of the tools she used to try to maintain a sense of order and control over her life.  The movie upgraded her Black Berry to an iPhone.  This detail is really not a big deal and did not alter the story line but I didn’t see the point to upgrading her technology especially where the book took place in the early 2000’s when Black Berries were widely used by professionals.  While it was only an ancillary part of the story, the graduate student that Alice advised in the book was omitted from the movie.  The relationship between a student and academic advisor/mentor is very important and I like that this showcased another aspect of Alice’s career that was impacted by her diagnosis, not just her teaching.  Another step Alice took to gain control of her future was the support group she started so she could socialize with others who were diagnosed with early onset alzheimer’s.  The story line in the movie did not struggle without this detail so I was not as disappointed when I realized it was not included as I was about some other exclusions and changes.  The movie changed the location from Boston to New York.  This change did disappoint me.  When I sat down to watch the movie, I was so excited to see Boston displayed as the backdrop.  The know-it-all in me likes to be able to point out certain streets, storefronts, or landmarks.  Boston is a much more intimate city compared to NYC.  Boston is full of rich history, it is a city that people can quickly  pick out on a map, it is a familiar city whether you are from here or not.  Alice lost her intimate relationships, familiarity with her surroundings, and her personal history.  Maybe the author did not intend for there to be such a tie between the themes of the book and the location, but it was a connection that I made and the transition to NYC in the movie didn’t sit as well with me.  Again, this movie was an impeccable portrayal of the book and the alternations do not change the quality of the film, I highly recommend the book and movie.

Any book to movie recommendations? Send them my way!

Talk soon,

Joy       

Boston Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week is a life a goal.  I don’t know in what capacity I want to be a part of NYFW but somehow, someday, it’s happening.  In the meantime, I am very fortunate to live in a city that prioritizes the arts and hosts many events for Boston Fashion Week.  This year I was able to catch an event and three exhibits.

Hand of Fashion

The Hand of Fashion was the first Boston Fashion week event I have ever been too.  Local fashion artisans featured their work and the craftsmanship that goes into creating their garments or accessories.  These designers oozed passion for their work and the fashion industry.  It was very hard to walk away without a Kent Stetson bag – fringe was everywhere!  One of the designers demonstrated the craftsmanship that goes into constructing a bowtie by hand.  This demonstration was the most interesting because it reminded me how much labor, talent and thought goes into every product we select.    

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Wearable Art

Viewing the student collections from Mass Art was inspiring, I want so badly to take an art class and to learn how to create art like this.  These students are incredibly talented.  The red dress made out of hand dipped coffee filters is the one I would pick for a red carpet look.  

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Engaged Body Exhibition featuring Rapid Jewelry Collection

I learned all about 3D printing at this exhibit.  The Origami Ruff  was so fragile and felt like a sand dollar.  I know, I should have been looking with my eyes, not my hands.  But, this work is so original and the tools used to create this artwork is so technologically advanced, I couldn’t help but explore it visually and physically.  The jewelry designs, especially the ring is just my taste, these pieces would complement so many of my outfits.  The combination of architecture and culture is so influential in fashion design.  This exhibit was unique and interesting because it made me think about the construction and origin of fashion trends before these concepts even get to the runway or clothing rack.

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Nagoya Boston Artwork Exchange

This is an annual exhibit is hosted at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  The MFA studio art classes in Boston and at the sister location in Nagoya, Japan, partner to create a collection of fashion inspired projects.  I loved seeing fashion interpreted and present through a young mind.  This reflects the creativity of future generations and is a sneak peek at what the fashion industry can expect from rising talent.   

Nagoya Boston Artwork Exchange Descripton

Nagoya Boston Artwork Exchange Description

Nagoya Boston Artwork Exchange Exhibit

Nagoya Boston Artwork Exchange Exhibit

Nagoya Boston Artwork Exchange Artists

Nagoya Boston Artwork Exchange Artists

I am really looking forward to next year.  Now that I have a taste of what Boston Fashion Week has to offer I know I need to dedicate more time to this event in 2016.  See you next year Boston Fashion Week!

Talk soon,

Joy

Wardrobe Wednesday: Comfy Chic

Casual Wednesday exists, right? Well today Joy and I have taken full advantage of the “casual Friday” vibe.

I took a mid-week vacation day to run a few errands and get some things sorted around the house (things are looking a little rough these days)! I went full on comfort with a mint green knitted sweater from American Eagle Outfitters over my light wash button up collared tank from Coldwater Creek. Dark grey leggings and my metallic bejeweled flats from Charming Charlies finish it off.

Alice’s full look:

Comfort & Style

Nothing cozier than a knitted sweater!

Bedazzle me

Bedazzle me.

Casual Friday came a little early for Joy as well.  Her day is blocked off so she can cross all her projects and administrative work off her to-do list.  Other than lunch with a colleague/friend she is spending her day at her desk.  Comfortable/professional was her goal with a blush colored sweater from Ann Taylor, Apt. 9 cropped pants and gold embellished Adrienne Vittadini flats.  She went with a gold watch, small gold hoops, and a statement ring to liven up the look.

Joy’s full look:

Blushed beauty!

Blushed beauty!

Comfort and style are a perfect pair 🙂

-Alice

Transformation Tuesday

Coffee was not totally necessary this morning as I am still riding the high from completing my first half marathon this weekend!

The benefit of a 13.1 mile course is you are guaranteed time to reflect. A few miles in  I had found my pace and was blissfully running solo. Along with other random thoughts, the word that kept creeping into my head was transformation.

My personal health journey has been a rollercoaster ride since my early teens, and I am so proud that it has led me to this point. I NEVER imagined that I would complete a half marathon, that is for sure.

Highschool was when I was at my largest, teetering around the 265-270 pound range. I was fortunate to go to an all-girls school where I had many friends and no shortage of fun, along with constant love and support from my family. While my outward attitude was positive and cheery, I definitely struggled with depression over my weight.

My highschool senior photo

My highschool senior photo

It took time, but my senior year of highschool (shortly after this photo was taken) I decided to take back my body and began my weight loss journey. By the time I entered college I was down 45 pounds and never looked back. To date, I am 90 lbs lighter than that picture and have never felt better, stronger, and more like myself!

Picking up my bib for the big day!

Picking up my bib for the big day!

This race gave me the perfect outlet to reflect on how far I have come and to remind myself that it is not always easy, but it is always worth it. I am grateful to my body for getting me to that finish line, and I am amazed at how much we can do when we go all-in, physically and mentally.

Right after crossing the finish line!

Right after crossing the finish line!

I keep my high school photo close by so that on the days when I feel down I can remember how far I have come. This race photo will join it as a reminder of the joy and strength that come from hard work and determination.

“It’s a marathon, not a sprint” has a whole new meaning to me now! Let’s see if I can get Gear to join me for next one 🙂

-Alice