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Shopping Small in Philly

11 Dec

Much like my NYC trip the previous week, I had a quickie overnight trip to Philadelphia last week. Once my train got in to Philly, I had a few hours to kill before my evening event, so I did a bit of walking around. In quick succession, my friend and I visited the Redding Terminal Market, the Dilworth Park Winter Garden at City Hall and the Christmas Village at Love Park. I love handmade items, so these winter villages were exactly what I LOVE about visiting different cities!

I ended up buying a few items for Christmas gifts… and a couple treats for myself too. Let’s check them out!

{Much, like my NYC post I did include links when I could find them. These are NOT sponsored links. I just really love what I purchased so I thought I’d make it easy for you if you want to shop for yourself.}

Bopbe handmade earrings

I basically never change my earrings out, so when I saw these pretty handmade earrings I was planning to leave them behind. They kept calling my name though and I ended up buying them. Look at them… they are so beautiful! How could I resist? I found the Bopbe shop on Etsy but they are currently closed while they have their booth at the Dilworth Park Winter Garden. So many of their items were gorgeous though, so if you like the earrings be sure to check back in the new year! I think I’m going to give these to my husband to wrap up for Christmas…

La Vie en Rose bracelet

I know, I know… I obviously have an obsession with bracelets. I couldn’t resist trying this one on. Then – as you know – once you see how beautiful it is on your arm, you can’t leave without it! As for the inscription, “La Vie en Rose” is a jazz song from the 1940’s. The idea of having a rosy outlook on life, or seeing the world through rose glasses turns into looking at everything through the haze of being in love. For me, I see it as keeping a positive outlook on everything. Here is a link to the exact bracelet I bought with your choice of inscriptions. 

Felt and Wool Angels

How adorable are these little felt angels? I bought one for my tree and one for a gift. Felt n Wool exports handcrafted felt products from Nepal and they had everything from scarves to slippers to ornaments. I read this on their Facebook page and thought it was really cool: “Our products are made in both a worker and eco-friendly process. Felt is not woven; instead the wool fibers are placed in warm soapy water and rolled under pressure to entangle the fibers. No electricity is used and there is little waste. Most of the workers are women who get their kids off to school, sit together chatting with friends and making our products – earning wages about the same as office workers – and finishing work in time to greet the kids from school.You can find their page here.

JoeyFiveCents necklace

This one is a gift, so if you are a sister of mine… LOOK AWAY! This initial necklace was made using original vintage paper from a Palmer Handwriting practice guide book from the 1930’s and 1940’s. The vintage paper has been sealed and coated with resin and then accented with a tiny vintage pearl bead flourish. My sister is engaged, so I purchased the letter of what will be her new last name!

Crisp & Co Pickles

You know if they have samples of food, I’m going to try some…right? Crisp & Co had a super yummy assortment of award-winning artisan pickles to sample and my favorites were the Sweet Ginger Pickles and the Savory Pickled Mushrooms. I bought one of each for my dad, and then one of the Ginger Pickles for my husband. Here’s their website.

I would have loved to do a little Philly thrifting while I was there, but I ran out of time! I’m just glad that I finally got a start on my Christmas list!

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New York City Shopping Fun

4 Dec

Last week I had a quick work trip to New York City. I rode the train there on Wednesday, had a work event that evening, another work commitment in the morning, and then hopped back on the train Thursday afternoon to come home. Of course, if I’m going to go to NYC, I might as well do a little shopping in my down time… obviously!

I spent some time at the Bryant Park Winter Village, which was right across the street from our hotel. I also did a little bit of thrifting while I was there.

What to see what I bought?

Oh and when I could find them, I included links in this post. Please note, NONE of these links are sponsored… so don’t feel like I’m trying to get you to buy things. I just really love what I purchased and thought I’d include links in case you see something for yourself or something you want to buy as a holiday gift!

First up, I’m totally obsessed with this handmade leather and metal bracelet:

I found it at one of the shops in the Winter Village and it cost $30. I tried to find them online and was totally unsuccessful. I Love, Love, LOVE this bracelet though. It looks great on its own and will also stack well with my other favorite bracelets too. This will basically be on my wrist from now until the end of time.

The Strand bookstore had a booth at the Winter Village and I could have spent all day in there. As it was, I kind of cleaned the place out with some purchases.

May the Books You Read Light the Way Tote Bag
Find it here


I swear the Strand must have a relationship with Rifle Paper Co, because they have a few things that look co-designed with Rifle (but most aren’t marked as such). I loved this bag so much when I saw it and then even more once I bought it and realized it has a little inside zip pocket and a zipper at the top. I use cute canvas bags like this on a regular basis for hauling stuff to work, packing for short trips, or even just going shopping (so I don’t need a disposable bag). This bag was $20 and I will be using it a ton.

When in Doubt, Go to the Library Shirt
Find it here

This shirt is super soft and not only includes my love of libraries, but the Harry Potter series… so I had to buy it. I did size up to an XL because it looks like it’s a juniors cut. I’m glad I did too, because I tried it on when I got back to my room and it was still a bit fitted. They also have a men’s version.

Sassy Buttons
Nasty Women Read: find it here
Well Read Women: find it here
Hermione 2020: find it here

YES, YES and YES. These went directly on my new tote bag.

I originally was thinking I’d purchase some gorgeous handmade natural Olive wood cutting boards for my siblings for Christmas gifts… but they didn’t seem that into the idea. So, I bought myself stuff instead. You can find the company here: and I basically wanted to buy one of everything for my house. I calmed myself down though and only ended up with four items:

Each piece is made from olive trees in Tunisia that no longer produce olives. Every item has its own distinctive wood grain and I took my time picking out a set that looked perfect to my eyes. I chose a flat spatula and two cooking spoons (they had a ‘buy 3 for $10 each’ special), as well as a spoon rest.

Here’s the cooking spoon: find it here
Here’s the flat spatula: find it here

I love the idea of buying a cutting board and pairing it with some fancy cheeses for a holiday gift (this one is super cute). Or even buying an assortment of spoons like I did. You can find all of their products here.

I mentioned that I did a little thrifting and I was able to hit up two shops. My first stop was The Thrifty HoG (11 W 25th Street). They are more like a consignment shop than a thrift store, which is nice because they have lots of super high-end brands. However, they also have higher prices. Even though I walked around a bit, nothing really caught my eye.

My second stop was at a nearby Goodwill (103 W 25th Street). HOLY MOLY did I see some amazing brands! There was a fantastic Tory Burch dress (which I later found out was my sister’s size… kicking myself for not buying it). I also found THREE pairs of Tory Burch shoes (all not my size or in icky condition), a pair of Diane Von Furstenburg heels, a Vince leather jacket, and tons of Anthropologie brands. If I were a size XS I would have totally cleaned up!

As it is, I only ended up coming home with one purchase:

These metallic leather gladiator sandals are just my size and exactly my style. I snapped them up for $10.

If I had more time, I would have liked to stop at another few thrift stores. But I’ll just have to cross my fingers that when I go to Philadelphia for a similar trip next week I find some fun thrift stores to browse!

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Movie Talk: Vacation-Inspiring Movies & a Giveaway!

23 Aug

School is starting soon in Maryland, which means that summer is suddenly coming to an end. Obviously I want to squeak in one (or two) more mini vacations before ‘real life’ starts up again. I mean, I work year-round – so real life never ends – but once the kids are back in school it just feels less FUN. Am I right? Which brings me to today’s post… movies that inspire your traveling!

One of my girlfriends (hi Jenni!) totally planned her honeymoon for Greece because of Mamma Mia. Those amazing shots of Skopelos, Skiathos and Kerkyra would make anyone want to pack up their suitcase and visit, especially for a romantic honeymoon. And now I kind of want to go too…

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

As for me, I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii. We are hoping we can make it happen for our 10th wedding anniversary, which is coming up in a little more than a year. While I can’t remember the exact reason I started with my Hawaii obsession, Blue Crush may have pushed me over the edge with the amazing shots of Oahu.

Source: Universal Pictures


Now it’s your turn: have you ever traveled somewhere because you saw it on a movie or television show? Leave me a comment and tell me all about it! To add a little extra end-of-summer fun, one random commenter will win a prize pack containing John Grisham’s new book, Camino Island and a few other beachy goodies.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can’t wait to read all your comments and make my next movie viewing/traveling list!


Disclaimer: I am a member of Netflix’s Director’s program, which gives me free access to movies. If you sign up with my referral link, I may receive a referral reward. My friends at provided me with the fabulous prize pack for the giveaway.The winner will be chosen randomly.

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Visiting San Francisco: All the Exploring + a Segway Ride

25 Jul

Back in June I had the opportunity to go to San Francisco for a work conference.  When I got back I posted about all the fun I had shopping (Visiting San Francisco: All the Shopping) but I never got around to posting about the rest of my trip. So here is a big old breakdown with lots of photos and a super dorky video!

I arrived in San Francisco on a Tuesday and after I took a quick nap, I spent most of the afternoon walking around. And I mean A LOT of walking, according to my FitBit I walked 6.5 miles, even with the long plane ride and nap!

Source: Google Maps


Basically I grabbed a burger by my hotel (Super Duper Burgers), walked all the way to a Goodwill and then worked my way back to my hotel, stopping at a Nordstrom Rack on the way. It was a nice, cool day and it felt great to use my legs after being stuffed on a plane for so long.

I spent all day Wednesday at the conference and didn’t even see the light of day until I decided to run out to a nearby movie theater that evening. I had been wanting to see Wonder Woman and it was such a treat to have a huge, comfy seat to myself (no kid smushed on top of me…) and watch the movie totally undisturbed!

Thursday was another all-day conference day. However, I met up with one of my favorite previous co-workers, Alley, and we checked out a local restaurant for dinner. Zero Zero was within walking distance to the hotel and the food and ambiance was fabulous. I got the Castro pizza, which was topped with Sopressata, House Made Sausage, Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella and Basil. We both ended our meal with their famous soft serve ice cream.

We both chose the Vanilla organic soft serve topped with Fiordolio Olive Oil and Sea Salt. It was super delicious, but we could have totally shared one order!

I finished up with the conference in the morning and then decided to do a bunch of sightseeing in the afternoon. As a totally spur-of-the-moment decision, I booked myself a Segway tour with the San Francisco Electric Tour Company. I picked the Fisherman’s Wharf, Waterfront & Northbeach tour that lasted 2.5 hours and it was AWESOME!

Source: San Fransisco Electric Tour Company


There were only three of us on the tour and our guide, Jessadra, was absolutely fantastic. When I first stepped on the Segway I was convinced that I was going to fall off or crash into someone. However, Jessadra was great in training me how to NOT die and also kept me laughing throughout the entire afternoon. It was a really fun way to see that part of the city and also was totally exercise, because my butt and thighs were crying the entire next day.

If you are exploring a new city, I absolutely recommend doing it on a Segway. I can’t stress enough how much FUN I had. And as proof, here is an incredibly dorky video of me on my Segway… complete with giggles and a coughing fit.


For my last day in San Francisco, I wanted to hit up all the tourist spots before I headed to the airport for my red-eye home. I started with an Uber ride to the Golden Gate State Park and walked around there for a bit. I ended up at the de Young Museum and enjoyed some time exploring.

From there, I grabbed another Uber and traveled over to Baker Beach. My sister had visited this beach on a previous trip and said it was a great spot to view the Golden Gate Bridge and she was totally right.

It was a little chilly, but the sun was out so I spent some time walking the beach, climbing on the rocks, people watching, and taking photos. I’m so glad I had the chance to go there.

According to my FitBit, I walked about 7 ½ miles that day, so I was totally pooped. I made my way back to my hotel to change into comfy flying clothes, charged my devices and took a taxi to the airport. San Francisco was so much fun and if I had more time I totally could have done so much more exploring. However, with my 5 day trip I had to buy an extra suitcase to take home my treasures, so it’s probably good that I came home when I did!

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