Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So, I lost Internet...

I was lucky enough to keep power & Internet/cable through most of the storm on Monday, so I didn't think to get posts scheduled in case I lost it AFTER the storm. Well, last night, while working on some new stuff, I lost Internet/cable & we still don't have it back! I'm not sure when I'll be able to get posts back up on here regularly, as I was unable to save any of my content last night-for now, I'm writing this from work, but I had to walk here (THREE HOURS!!!) just to get in to Midtown. Hopefully it will be back when I get home tonight, but for now I'll be a little MIA. Hope everyone is getting through their week alright!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Aftermath & Recovery, Part 1

This post is going to be a little dull and depressing, but hey, it's what's going on in my life right now.

I spent the last 2.5 days stuck in my apartment, with the worst of the storm hitting us around 8pm last night. We'd been listening to wind whip around for several hours, although we never had pouring rains. Our lights started flickering during my cookie baking adventures, but we seemed to be doing okay. About halfway through cookie baking, I heard a loud noise and looked out the window. The (already dead but still standing) tree right outside my kitchen window had fallen over in a huge gust of wind. At the same time, my roommate yelled from the front of our apartment.

The metal awning that had been attached maybe a foot below my bedroom window/above our front door had completely blown down in the same gust. As I was calling our super, our downstairs neighbor knocked & the awning blew up against our front gate-as evidenced below. 

We got everything secure and thankfully made it through without much other damage, although we lost cable & Internet for a while and had several more bouts of flickering lights. A power line also snapped about half a block up after glowing bright orange and sparking for several minutes.

Thankfully, this was the most excitement we had to deal with although I have many friends who were evacuated or dealt with flooding in their neighborhoods. I ventured out today and saw that a lot of trees around us not just splintered but were completely uprooted, several on top of houses or blocking entire streets. NYC isn't made to hold up under weather like this. I still can't get out of Queens, or even really my neighborhood, but life is slowly continuing.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Homemade Oreos (+ a serious dose of cabin fever)

I got a little lazy yesterday after finding out I wouldn't be at work today (or, likely, tomorrow-thanks Sandy). I have a terrible case of cabin fever, and you'd think I'd be used to it after dealing with winter storms consistently throughout my childhood. Weirdly enough, I think living through four floods in Iowa since 1993 has made me oddly calm about everything going on right now, and I feel more annoyed at being shut in than anything else. Mostly I've been watching FAR too much TV & eating pretty much everything in my kitchen. 

I've made kale chips (twice), pasta, apple cinnamon pancakes for on my list? A favorite of mine-homemade oreos. I stumbled across the recipe when reading a blog earlier this summer & traced it to Smitten Kitchen, a fantastic site for everything delicious. Since we still have power, I'm about to go take advantage of it & whip these up...they're super easy and immensely popular with my roomies & friends. 

*photos & recipe via Smitten Kitchen

Homemade Oreos
Adapted from Retro Desserts, Wayne Brachman
Let’s talk about the sugar for a minute, shall we? This is a sweet cookie. A good, sweet cookie. Yet, if you think of an actual Oreos, the wafers are fairly un-sweet and actually on the slightly salty side, which contrasts with the super-sweetness of the filling bringing harmony, happiness, yada yada. If you want your cookie closer to that original, you can take out a full half-cup of the sugar. If you want to make the cookie by itself (as I did a while back for ice cream sandwiches), go ahead and use the full amount.
Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies

For the chocolate wafers:
1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (45 grams, but cocoa weights can vary greatly) unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups (200 to 300 grams) sugar [see recipe note]
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks or 140 grams) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg

For the filling:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 55 grams) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1/4 cup (50 grams) vegetable shortening
2 cups (240 grams) sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
  1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
  5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.

The above photo is from an earlier batch of mine...they didn't last long! I need a yummy dessert for this storm since I already finished all my ice cream.

I hope everyone on the East Coast is holding up alright! Thoughts are with all of you. 


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Halloween!

As I'm sure most of you know, tonight is the night adults have deemed their Halloween for the year. I've never been a huge Halloween fan & frequently plan my outfit at the last minute...yes, this is happening again...BUT, I am reusing a great old costume!

A few years ago, my best friend Kaitlyn & I made one of our better decisions to go on a Halloween bar crawl, bus provided, back home. I went as Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood & my friend as Marilyn Monroe (we both looked pretty awesome-evidence of my costume below!). I even had a hairdresser friend curl my hair so it would sit the same as it does in the promo photos from the first season. 

Last year I'd just moved to here and it SNOWED on Halloween. I worked a short promo event and came home, curled up & went to bed. This year? Well, we're expecting a hurricane on Monday, so I might as well live a little! My friend & I will be meeting up with others at Bootie Mashup in Brooklyn, and I'll be busting back out the Sookie! It's supposed to be much warmer, meaning I probably won't have to wear the thick tan dancer's tights I attempted to block the wind out with the first go around. You can all expect some pretty ridiculous photos next week.

Pretty awesome, wasn't it? You can't see my "fang" bites (drawn on with lip liner) in this photo. What are you going to be for Halloween?

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Perfect Weekend Look

As I made pretty clear in my first outfit post, I'm a huge fan of a solid color v-neck tee. It's like a blank canvas, a starting point to layer accessories, adding prints and color and sparkle. Bonus? It looks great on EVERYONE.

These items have all been on my radar for a while, and if I had it my way I'd be rocking them together this weekend (and all the time during the week, too). Alas, my bank account isn't ready to let that happen, but for now a girl can dream!

Hopefully, a few of these items will make it into my wardrobe this season. What's your favorite weekend look?

Hot Fall Style Trends in NYC...guest post!

I'm happy to say Blonde in this City has its first guest post, from Alex at Alex's Journeys. She put together a great recap of fall fashion in New York City-it's definitely a different world when you get dressed here than it is in other places! 

Fall has arrived and New York City fashionistas could not be happier.  This season’s weather means clothes can be strategically layered both indoors and out. It is not yet cold enough for heavy coats that obscure figures and hide striking ensembles. Scarves are still worn for effect instead of warmth. Jackets and sweaters are reintroduced into wardrobes, and fashion becomes much more deliberate. Style doesn’t have to be sacrificed solely for comfort like it may be in hot summer months or an icy winter season. 

The style of those in Brooklyn brings a separate edge from chic Manhattan trends. The typical Brooklyn girl allows for form-fitting layers as a foundation for a layered look. As the weather gets cooler, they will trade their skimpier shorts for structured pants. The edgier end of the fashion spectrum is focused on angles this season. The pants are skintight and simple. Jackets end at the hips. The whole look is very androgynous. Both genders can wear this look well. Men will have an easier time, since this trend is not about flaunting curves. Women with shapely figures will have a harder time pulling off this look, but high heels add an advantage.

The upscale trendsetters in Manhattan are obsessed with flouncy A-line skater dresses. The skirts flare out dramatically and have been fashion favorites ever since Zooey Deschanel and the ladies of Mad Men reminded everyone that women can be feminine and sexy without showing a lot of skin. As long as the waist looks slim, everything else will fall into place. These flirty looks have become so popular recently that low-end retailers stock them at very affordable prices. This makes it easy for a financially cautious fashionista to try out an A-line silhouette without spending a lot of money. Skater dresses are available in all sorts of fabrics and patterns. When they are made out of high-quality fabrics and sewn with princess seams at the bust, they look formal, while short skater dresses in striped knit fabrics are cute and casual. The prevalence of flattering casual dresses allows for women to wear dresses in any occasion. 

With more of an edge, the girls in Tribeca are still wearing their neutral layers this fall. Now, they can incorporate chic leather jackets with wrap around scarves into their wardrobes. The fall weather keeps these young women looking stylishly windswept. This look translates well from the office to nightlife.

Alexandra is a travel enthusiast who loves to write about fashion, beaches, food, and the wonderful things in the world.  She provides her own insights on vacationing to the blogosphere.  If you would like to learn more about her, follow her @alexsjourneys on Twitter or visit her blog

Thursday, October 25, 2012

They Were All Yellow

It really is fall. The leaves are finally changing color here (although this photo is actually from two years ago, in Iowa-sorry to cheat but it was taken by yours truly!) and the temperatures are mild and cool. My immediate reaction once I can no longer wear summer clothes, which really used to be a lifeguarding swimsuit & something comfortable over it for about a decade, is to immediately switch to sweaters and layers and boots and coats. It dawned on me this week that it's still pretty nice here in NYC, having been in the 60's most of the last few weeks, so my usual knee-jerk reaction to dress like it's an Iowa winter has been rather unnecessary. It has also ironically been much warmer back in Iowa than here, when there's usually a frost or two by now and some light flurries of snow. 

As much as I'm not a cool or cold weather girl (the irony of growing up in the Midwest and moving out East is not lost on me here), I do love the gorgeous changes fall brings to my scenery. Hopefully, I'll get to spend a little time admiring the legendary east coast fall foliage this weekend. 

What's your favorite thing about fall? Leave a comment below!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Some people who read this might already know or have figured out that I have a background in photography, so I thankfully didn't join the blogging world without any experience behind the camera. I started studying a mix of film & digital about a decade ago, and I ended up with a studio art minor while in college. 

Anyways, my friend Steve adopted a dog, Wrigley (yes, he is named after the Cubs), from a small batch of puppies we fostered at my house in Iowa back in spring 2011. We decided he needed some photos to hang up featuring his adorable pup, so when I was home in August he came over to my house for a little photo shoot and playtime with our four dogs. Steve talks about starting a blog just to post photos of Wrigley...I'm pretty sure the Internet would be okay with seeing a smiling puppy face like his every day!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Wednesday! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Southwestern Details

The weekend before last (I'm slow on this one, I know) I met up with Jessica for a walk through Central Park when we both needed a break from working; we were hoping to catch the leaves in beautiful shades of fall, but they've been a bit slow at turning here! Hopefully we'll get a chance to fully check it out next weekend, when they should be at their best. We walked through & stopped to watch a few of the three different wedding parties we came across taking photos, & Jessica snapped a few photos of my layered look for the day.

Coat, Zara (similar) | Tights, Hue (purchased at Von Maur) | Boots, Steve Madden (old)

Manicure detailed here. Rings, gifted & vintage purchases.

Sweater, BB Dakota | Dress, Free People

Necklace, gift from my mom

I have to say I've been really into the southwestern details and patterns popping up in fashion this season, so this won't be the last you've seen of these geometric, western patterns & thick, cozy materials in my clothes.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Turquoise & Red

I spent a good chunk of my weekend cleaning & organizing in my apartment between the visits from a lot of friends I had in town-which culminated in going through the huge stacks of magazines I've amassed and tearing out pages for inspiration Sunday afternoon. Along the way, I came across a beautiful fall spread in my October issue of my Better Homes and Gardens magazine that got me turned on to the color combination of turquoise & red. You can expect to see it showing up a lot, I plan on incorporating it into my wardrobe in the coming weeks.

Stack of magazines keeping me company. (Follow me on instagram!! @Rosamapose)

Anyways, here's a little of my new favorite color combination for inspiration! I think that kitchen is divine.

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Happy Monday! What's your favorite color combo? Tell me in the comments!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Year.

I'm not sure if I really mentioned this in the previous weeks I've been posting, but last Friday was my one-year anniversary of moving to New York City. It was meaningful and yet uneventful, which is perhaps the best of combinations for my life right now.

When I decided to move here in September 2010, I'd never even been to the city. Or, really even east of Tennessee, unless you want to count Florida. But hey, I like to dream big. A few months after that, I received a decent chunk of money from a bad car accident I'd been in during the summer of 2009, saved most of it, took the rest, and made my friend Steve take a week off work and head out east with me. We stopped in D.C. for a few days, where my brother had been living since the previous fall (I've since been back more than half a dozen times, like my recent trip detailed here), then headed to NYC on the same day it snowed 19 inches of heavy, wet snow. Having never been here and knowing no one in the city, neither of us knew better than to really leave Midtown aside from our trip to the Met. I left not knowing when I'd be back.

In August 2011, I was wrapping up my job as a manager/lifeguard at a pool I'd been visiting since childhood (where I'd worked for seven straight years), and I ended up in touch with an acquaintance who offered to help me with getting a place to live settled in the city. In October, we signed a lease, and I moved on the 12th of the month. I arrived to an apartment in Queens, in a neighborhood I knew nothing about, with no furniture, no job, no true friends here and a bedroom better suited to being a walk-in closet.

On the 12th of October, 2012, I celebrated my anniversary after I left my full-time job where I manage a variety of online and media-related aspects with a dinner at a delicious Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village, surrounded by friends and great conversation. Afterwards, I headed home and curled up with wine, nail polish and several episodes of Downton Abbey. Sure, maybe I didn't celebrate the way most people my age would, but I honored it in a way that's true to myself (and got to wake up at a decent hour without a headache!). I got my job a few months after I moved & learned my way around this city as I went. I have made so many memories, new friends, good friends, added to my vast collection of crazy stories that happen in my life, tried new things, attended events I never could have dreamed I'd see before (New York Fashion Week [twice]? Hanging out with Ne-yo in the recording studio? Seeing the Paris Opera Ballet dance Giselle at Lincoln Center? All three, check), started dancing again, traveled around the East Coast and I still have so much more to do here!

A lot has changed in my life over this past year, while other things have stayed the same. So, it was a lot like any other year of any other person's life. I miss my friends (especially Kaitlyn & Steve, & their dogs), and my family, and Des Moines and especially my dog, Mollie. But I would miss these opportunities I've been presented with even more. I have been blessed with the chance to get to know myself away from the influences of my childhood & youth and grow as a person each day. It has been a challenge, and will continue to be one, but I can't imagine a better one to face. I don't know where I'll be on the 12th of October, 2013, if I'll still be living in NYC or even the USA, but I do know I look forward to chasing my dreams and being dazzled by where they take me next.

At the Metropolitan Museum of Art during my first visit, January 2011. 

With my mom & sister on the top of 30 Rock in July 2012. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Keep Climbing

I like to think I'd be much more inclined to take the stairs in my office building if they were as beautiful as some of the ones I've stumbled across in my years of web browsing. There's something about a gorgeous set of stairs that brings a sense of adventure and wonderment to your ascent.

*all images via pinterest

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Glitter Gradient Nails

I have had so many comments & questions about my most recent manicure, a teal polish with a copper glitter gradient on top, that I knew I had to post about it! I was even asked this weekend if I got the idea from Pinterest, but my friends & I have been doing manicures like this for quite some time.

A quick backstory about me & nail polish: I was a terrible, horrible nail biter my entire life, & I mean biting until my nails would bleed, until the last few months of college when I suddenly stopped cold turkey. I found that having my nails done nicely gave me incentive to let them grow, so I quickly mastered a variety of at-home manis and watched my polish collection grow from a couple of drugstore brand bottles to 150+ including OPI, Sephora, Butter London, Illamasqua & Julep (a lot of them have been gifted to me over the last few years! My friends are very aware of my affinity). Spending all my summer days working at a pool gave me some good practice with them, too.

Polish, all listed below. Rings, unique finds/gifts. Full outfit post to follow!

This mani is pretty simple. I always start by wiping my nails with a swipe of polish remover to get rid of any dirt or soap/lotion residue, and follow up with two layers of base coat. I'm currently using Orly Bonder, pictured above, but my favorite is CND Stickey. I also only do one hand at a time, or I'll screw up the other one for sure! For this, I applied two even coats of polish and let it dry til it was just a little bit tacky, then I painted some of the glitter topcoat on the end of the cosmetic sponge and gently pushed it into the teal polish from the tip, working my way up until I covered about half the nail. Follow that up with two coats of Seche Vite, and voilĂ !

Monday, October 15, 2012

Michelle Chang Jewelry

Some of my readers may already know that I work for a costume/fashion jewelry company; one of the great parts of my job is the time I get to spend looking for inspiration and trends, where I often stumble across inspiring new sites, blogs, products and of my favorite finds to date is the jewelry of Michelle Chang, a former designer and artist who found her true calling in creating unique, beautiful fine jewelry (you can view her wonderful illustration portfolio here).

Her favorite piece of mine is her elephant design, as they're my favorite animal! Unfortunately I haven't been able to squeeze buying anything into my budget yet, but the number of times I visit her Etsy shop every month tells me it's going to happen. Check out some more of my favorites, like the tiny skulls and the little umbrella that reminds me of home, currently in her shop below.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

all images via Etsy

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mustard & Mint

Hmm, now that would make for an interesting food combination! In this case, though, I'm talking about clothing colors, which are really more of a mustard & sea foam but that just didn't sound as awesome.

On Monday, Tracy of The Right Shoes & I grabbed lunch, since we work in the same building (at least part of the week). It's the first time in nine months that I officially ate lunch outside of the office, and then we stopped by Bryant Park to snap some quick photos.

Jacket, Zara (similar) | Scarf, Target (similar) | Dress & Hue tights, Von Maur

Sweater, Forever 21 (last year, similar) | Boots, Chinese Laundry (old, similar)

Earrings, Brooklyn Flea Find (they're real leaves, dipped in metal!)

Rings, all gifts from family | Nails, OPI Manicurist of Seville | Bracelets, all Sequin

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Free People Lovin'

I'm lucky enough to have my mom & sister working at a pretty amazing department store back home, Von Maur, where I frequently shop while having them keep an eye on items I adore but can't afford until they go on sale. I picked out a few pieces when I was home last in August, which my sister picked up on sale for me & is shipping them out to NYC this week! Both happen to be Free People items, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite FP pieces right now.
I love the boho, relaxed vibe their clothes give off. They're easy to style and mix with other pieces I already own, and as an added bonus they're soft and comfortable.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Beauty Must-Haves

I don't wear a lot of makeup on a day to day basis, but anyone who knows me is aware of my affinity for Sephora, and even more so of my love for nail polish...but more on that later! I put together some of my favorite products from my favorite beauty store, starting with skin care. Taking care of your skin should always be the first step to looking your best (and this really starts with drinking plenty of water).

I tend to try different brands all the time when I need a new product, but I've been loyally using Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Gentle Cleanser for three years now. I have very sensitive skin (I've had eczema since I was 12) and this gets all my makeup off in one go without irritating my skin. I received a sample of this Murad Clarifying Mask last year and I loved it so much, I bought the full size tube. I can very literally see a difference in my skin every time I rinse it off. Last on my musts for skincare-sunscreen!!! I spent seven years as a full-time outdoor lifeguard in the summer and I've seen every shade of bad sunburn there is, so I'm pretty adamant about getting proper sun protection. I've switched brands a few times and have finally settled on this Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection for Face SPF 55 PA+++. The higher price is worth it because I can put this on the the morning, let it absorb and put makeup on top within five minutes without any greasy residue & it has a great, light scent. I always make sure to cover my entire face, neck and rub the extra in my hands, even in the winter!

I switch blush back and forth between NARS Blush in Orgasm (a must-have classic) and Urban Decay Afterglow Cheek Tint in Quickie, which I received as a sample through Sephora before purchasing. Both blend like a dream and give the perfect flush, every time.

I don't actually own the Urban Decay Naked Palette yet but I've used a friend's before and I'm DYING to get my hands on one! It's got every shade you need for day or night, any outfit. They also make a great Shadow Pencil, which I run under my eyes or along my top lashes in Delinquent to bring out the green in them. I'm also a fan of Clinique High Impact Mascara, which gives me easy volume and length without clumping quickly.

Lastly, my favorite parts about my makeup routine! As I'm sure you've guessed by now, I'm a huge fan of color in all areas of my style. I change my nails every few days, & this Sephora by OPI in Screen Test is one of my latest picks for a pop of color. If you remember from my post about OCC Lip Tar, I've decided to make a bright pink lip my "thing," & this YSL Sheer Candy Gloss in Succulent Pomegranate is a quick way to add a sheer, bright lip. My other go-to is this NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Carthage, which I wear pretty regularly. I love their matte lipsticks-I have a few other colors, but this one definitely makes it out of my beauty drawer most.

What are your go-to beauty products? (I'm always on the lookout for something new to try!)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Get Inspired: Bathroom Decorating

Bathrooms can sometimes be an overlooked room of the house when decorating. The goal with many other rooms in the house is to make them cozy and comforting...why not look to do the same with your bathroom? Stepping into a  well-decorated bathroom is like stepping into your own spa every day, and I don't know anyone who wouldn't want that.

The best part about all of these bathrooms? They just got a little dressed up thanks to the help of wallpaper. It makes it seem like a much more doable project for someone on a budget (like myself!)

*all images via Elle Decor