2013 | Chantilly

2013 in Review!!

2013... such an odd number right? You'd think it would be an odd year, but to be truthful, it was pretty alright. I always love going back and reading all my posts throughout the past year. So I went back and took a look at ALL my past posts, and here are some of my favorite and momentous ones from this year.

I discovered how much fun it could be to wear a wig :) I did a lot of experimenting, and they became a staple of my style posts for a few months.

gabalmania wig

I had a stranger spark my creativity.


I had one of the most beautiful experiences in my entire life when Matt and I went horseback riding on the beach in Puerto Rico. I kept looking around, and saying to myself- "This is real. This is actually happening. I can't forget this moment!!"

horseback riding in puerto rico

I went out for a walk on a nice spring day in SoHo and documented the adventure.

Soho NYC

I decided to get motivated by buying myself a pinboard to stick ideas pictures on. But the plain-looking pinboard looked too business-y, so I decided to give it a makeover.

pinboard restyle

Visiting Rhode Island is always a rejuvenating experience, and this time we got to go to the beach! These beach flowers smell so pretty, and always remind me of home.


I tried my hand at making moisturizer- a coconut/ cocoa oil blend. It smelled delicious, and was one of my most popular posts in 2013.


I have two for August. The first is one of my favorite days off at camp, when I borrowed a camp car and explored some nearby farmer's markets on my own. That trip produced some of the prettiest pictures this blog has seen :)

The second I couldn't leave out, because it was my rock performance while at camp. It was the first time I've ever really sang rock and roll, and THE MOST FUN I've ever had performing. This performance was a major reason why I'm probably making a switch to electric guitar as my main instrument this year.

20130724-IMG_1962 Screen Shot 2013-07-14 at 6.07.18 PM
photo by graham zinger

I got engaged! Aaaand, we still don't have a date :P It's honestly still a little overwhelming for me to think about planning a wedding, but exciting at the same time!

chantilly outfit

I announced that I'm making a new record! This is a story that's yet to unfold itself, as I'm still withholding a lot of details and working things out. It's definitely one of the things I'm most looking forward to in 2014.

announcement 2

I love this delicious recipe for Sweet Potato Quinoa pies. Especially since it was one of the meals I remember most fondly when we were recording in Maine.


I also have two for December- the first one is sad, but I feel that I have to mention the fact that we had to say goodbye to our beloved cat Boo-boo. Just typing that made me a little teary again. He was my baby, and my first cat.

But since I can't leave us on a sad note, I'll end it with one of my favorite style posts in recent months- my little black dress post! Come on, you know you can't resist WHAM! ...

20130903-IMG_2573 little black dress

And that's it! 2013 was interesting, but next year will be even more so. So... here we go.

2014 ho!


Follow on Bloglovin

Sweater Weather

Sammydress review
photos by deserie waryck

Hello there!

Phew, that sure felt like a long break! I decided to give myself a week off of blogging for the holiday. It felt pretty nice :) But I think it's time to get back in the mix and share some of what I've been up to...

I got the chance to scoot home for a few days before Christmas. I have to say, it was completely rejuvenating. I have the kind of relationship with my family where we just "get" each other. They're silly, and chaotic, and hilarious. We spent most of the time driving around, laughing our asses off, and watching cheesy movies and TV shows.

Luckily in between the silliness, I got to take some photos with some newly acquired things from Sammydress.

Sammydress review

By the way, I can't do this post without mentioning how nice it was to shoot photos in such a unique space, compared to the cityscape that I'm used to! My parents owned a vintage and antique furniture business for awhile, so their home is filled with cool old pieces, like the radio above. It was a nice change of scenery, not to mention my mom has a great eye for photography!

Anyway... a couple of the things I'm wearing were provided to me by sammydress.com. To be completely truthful, I was a bit skeptical when I first received their email, because when I looked them up, there were some negative reviews of the company. But I have to say, I LOVE everything that I was sent!

The sweater I'm wearing here is really nice and cozy (although it is HUGE.) I think my favorite find was the jewelry, though. Everything I got ranged in price from $1-$5 in price. My favorite is this little tape pendant!!

Forever 21 Skirt

The reviews on the website were also really helpful... I tried to go for the things that had pictures, and had good reviews, and it seemed to have worked out. You could make out like a bandit if you look for things with the the "free shipping" option. Along with a coupon code I found online, I got this sweater, two pendants, and two rings for just under $30!!

I should probably disclose though... even though I loved that oval ring, it turned my finger a funny color after wearing it for a few hours :/ For $1 though, I'm not complaining too loudly. xx

Forever 21 Skirt


Follow on Bloglovin

Cozy Days

Icon Brand Laptop Sleeve

Because it's winter break (no kids to teach), I've been spending a lot of cozy days at home lately. Blogging, drinking coffee, doing work on my laptop, and browsing the Internet. (I didn't even bother to blowdry my hair on this day! And I'm kind of loving it...)

If you know me, one of my favorite things is when I get to flee the trappings of my apartment, and go out to the local coffee shops and cafes. The problem is... I never even bothered to get a cover for my laptop! So I've been carting it around without one all this time, and It's gotten a couple of scratches and boo-boos as a result :(

Icon Brand Laptop Sleeve

I can't tell you how long I've been needing a laptop sleeve. So when Surfdome approached me about a collaboration, I had a look at their website (which has a really fun and diverse product assortment!), and decided this was the time to jump on getting one!

I absolutely LOVE the sleeve I chose, which is by Icon Brand (find it here!) The southwestern/ boho pattern is so pretty, and I can tell it's built to last. It's basically the laptop sleeve of my dreams :) Mine seems like it's almost sold out, so check out some similar ones if you're in the market for one of your very own.

Icon Brand Laptop Sleeve

Hope you've enjoyed having a little look at me & the homestead :)

If you celebrate Christmas, have a wonderful holiday!! I'll be taking a few days off of blogging to enjoy some family time. xoxox!

Icon Brand Laptop Sleeve Chantilly

Follow on Bloglovin

Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Recipe

Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Recipe

Do you like chocolate? Do you like peppermint? If so, today's your lucky day! I remembered this recipe in JUNE, and have been patiently biding my time since then.

So this is another childhood recipe. I've already revealed a bit about my cookie-making past. But never really dug into the depth of my obsession with it :P There was one fall in my late tweens where I started baking cookies, and I just couldn't stop. Almost every day after school, I was in the kitchen mixing, creaming, and whipping ingredients into beautiful, delicious creations. It was a sort of therapy for me.

It finally got to the point where our little family just could not eat that many cookies anymore. So I started storing my uneaten batches in the freezer... bags upon bags of them. All different kinds. We eventually decided to use the stored cookies for the Christmas family dinner, when I would present my crowning achievement as a little budding baker... I put together a mountainous cookie platter to put all other cookie platters to shame. Seriously, that thing was HUGE.

Anyway, I was very fond of making things up as I went. And one day, I decided that plain sugar cookies were just so passe. So I decided to mix it up with some chocolate and peppermint, and the rest is history!

Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Recipe

To make the cookies, I used a recipe from the Fanny Farmer cookbook-

First, preheat the oven to 325

Cookie Dough

- Cream 1/2 cup butter until light and fluffy- (except, use crisco! trust me...)
- Beat in 3/4 cup sugar
- Add
1 egg
1/2 Tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp. peppermint extract

- Beat thoroughly

- Add
1 Tbs cream or milk
1/3 cup cocoa (make sure to add this before the flour)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp baking powder

- Spoon the batter by tablespoon-fulls onto a greased cookie sheet, then flatten them with a spoon.

- Bake for 8 minutes


- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (tip- it came out really peppermint-y, which I liked. But use less if you want a lesser peppermint effect.)

You want to make sure the glaze is really gloopy, so you have more control when spreading it over the cookies. If done properly, it will also have enough to "catch" the crushed candy when you sprinkle it on top, directly after you glaze it.

Also, make sure the cookies cool off a bit before you glaze them, so that it doesn't run everywhere.

To top it all off, I crushed some starlight mints with the bottom of a mug, and sprinkled it on directly after I glazed the cookie.


Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Recipe


Follow on Bloglovin

Little Black Dress

Little Black Dress Little Black Dress Little Black Dress

So glad to have FINALLY acquired a little black dress. It's one of those wardrobe staples that I've been doing without for about, ohhh, my whole life. I'm all about this fine little lace number from Oasap. I love the look, even though I usually don't go for long sleeves on dresses. But I think they look deliciously classy here :)

We shot these photos on Saturday, when it was snowing outside. Although the snow would've made a picturesque backdrop, I just couldn't fathom cold + sleeves made of lace. I will do a lot for fashion... but there are limits.

We decided to stay inside instead, and relied on our finished Christmas tree to give the photos some flavor. Isn't it pretty?

Little Black Dress

PS, I really hear this song for the soundtrack of these photos, for some reason :P


Follow on Bloglovin

O Christmas Tree

Christmas tree decorations Martha Stewart Ornaments Martha Stewart Ornaments

So we got our first real Christmas tree last weekend! I'm super psyched about it.

We always had this tiny little fake tree, ever since our first Christmas in Brooklyn. It was like, two feet tall with the lights already attached. The lights on it gave out last year, and even though it was nostalgic for us, we tossed it. Such is the way of living in a New York apartment... get rid of things you don't need/ don't work.

The other thing is, we have to stay put this Christmas. Usually we go home to see one of our families, but Matt's new job needs him around. Because of this turn of events, we decided to bite the bullet and get a proper tree. Might as well have something beautiful to look at if we're sticking around, right?

Since we've never had one before, we also had to think about getting all the decorations, lights, etc. Luckily, we found an ornament set from Martha Stewart that was pretty cute and reasonably priced. Quite an investment, these Christmas trees!

But it makes me so happy :)

Martha Stewart Ornaments


Follow on Bloglovin

Stevie Nicks Style

So... I've been just a little excited about American Horror Story lately, and one of the standout characters in the series is Misty Day. She's a Stevie-Nicks-obsessed, woods-living, borderline cookoo lady who also happens to be COMPLETELY AWESOME. She can bring people back from the dead, and summon animals back to life (to eat their killers... go girl!) Most importantly, she has several pretty shawls and flowy dresses for twirling in.

Of course, Misty's style is based off of the real deal- the incomparable Miss Stevie Nicks. So like any good fangirl, I started listening to Fleetwood Mac a little more... started swaying and twirling a little more...

I also decided to look up some of Stevie's pictures in an attempt to bite her style for myself :P I don't have too many flowy skirts, blouses, or shawls to call my own. But perhaps this has to change. This witchy look is calling to me!

stevie nicks style stevie nicks style stevie nicks style stevie nicks style

Photos via NixFix.com

PS... this song!!


Follow on Bloglovin
Blogger Template Created by pipdig