Friday, June 29, 2012

Philadelphia: City of Brotherly Love

After our adventures in New York City, we took an Amtrack train from Penn Station to Union Station in Philadelphia.  We arrived late at night and were ready to spend the whole day in the City of Brotherly Love.  I learned my lesson in New York and went with shorts to beat the Northeastern heat wave.
Top: Y&I; Shorts: The Limited
Bag: Calvin Klein
Necklace: Bottica c/o Klout Perks
Bracelet: Target
Shoes: Converse (That's Independence Hall in the background)
We bought tickets to one of those Hop On-Hop Off tour buses and made our first stop at the Reading Terminal Market to grab an early lunch.  The cheesesteak sandwich originated in Philadelphia so what else were we going to eat?  I loved the market at Reading Terminal and I was upset that I didn't stop and grab some fruit for the road after lunch, but our lunch at Carmen's Famous Cheesesteaks was so delicious that I completely forgot.
After lunch, we went all around the city visiting the landmarks and the boys even ran up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in an ode to Rocky Balboa.  Our kids had never heard of Rocky and now we have all the Rocky movies so they can know why Dad made them run up the steps in the scorching heat!
Love Sculpture at Love Park
Philadelphia City Hall 
View from the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Gates at Fairmount Park 
Independence Hall
We went back at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell before we ended up at Union Station and on another train to Washington, D.C. for the last leg of our trip.  
Liberty Bell at Independence Square
I have to admit that this was my favorite day of the entire vacation.  We relaxed and got to really take in everything and not feel rushed.

What are your favorite vacations? Active vs. Relaxing? City vs. Beach?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

NYC: Empire State Building, Grand Central Station & the AMNH

Our third and last day in New York City was just as packed as our first and second day. We hit up the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station and the American Museum of Natural History.  It was as hot as the other days, but since we were only outside to get from one place to another, it was not as unbearable as the day before. 
Top: Halogen; Camisole: Nordstrom Rack; Jeans: Rich & Skinny
Earrings: Banana Republic; Rose Gold Necklace: BaubleBar
Bag: c/o Joe’s Jeans and Dallas Tidbits
Rose Gold Bracelet: c/o BaubleBar Vault
Cord Bracelets: Target
Shoes: Converse
We started at the Empire State Building because our teenager wanted to see it, however, when we arrived he refused to go up because he is afraid of heights!  The little one is not afraid of anything and begged me to take him up anyway, so off we went!
Empire State Building
View of the Financial District and the Hudson River
View of the Chrysler Building
We then moved to Grand Central Station.  Have you ever read the poem I Like You by Sandol Stoddard?  I love it and I love the references to getting lost in Grand Central Station.  It would be a fabulous place to get lost in.  I was sad that our train to Philadelphia departed from Penn Station and not Grand Central.
Grand Central Station with the Chrysler Building in the background
Interior of Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station is on trend with the mint obsession!
Finally, we ended the day at the American Museum of Natural History.  It is huge and amazing, we were on our way out and then got lost only to realize there were entire sections of the museum we didn't even get to see!
Saturn and Jupiter in orbit
Triceratops is my favorite dinosaur!
A giant blue whale, isn't it beautiful?!?!
This concludes the New York City portion of our vacation and I really appreciate you reading and coming along with me!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

NYC: The Met, 9/11 Memorial, & Times Square

Our second day in New York was HOT! It was funny because they had fabulous weather the entire week before our visit and right after we left.  It was just like Texas followed us to New York.  We started the morning at the 9/11 Memorial.  In previous trips, Mr. Fantastic and I had visited Ground Zero, but now that they have built the reflecting pools on the site of Ground Zero, the 9/11 Memorial has opened.  I have to admit that, like many Americans, I get very emotional about 9/11. 
View of the ongoing construction of the new World Trade Center Tower
South Pool
Names of the victims of 9/11 are inscribed in bronze plates around the pools.
View of the North Pool and the new World Trade Center behind it.
After we exited the memorial, we headed to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I was very dissapointed last year that we missed the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit by less than a week, and I was NOT going to miss the Sciaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibit!  The museum requested no photograhy, so the last two images were found on the internet.  My favorite thing about this exhibit is that it really proves that there is nothing new under the sun, just different ways to interpret the same vision through our individual lenses. The last image is of the hardcover clothbound book I bought on my way out of the museum.
Entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Image courtesy of
Sciaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations Exhibition Catalogue
Published by Met Publications 2012 (buy it on sale here)
I took advantage of the fact that we were indoors long enough to cool off before I had my husband and 11 year-old take some photos of my outfit.  After we left the museum, we walked through central park and then split up.  I wanted to go shop a little and the kids wanted to go to the pool at the hotel.  They took the camera with them and I headed to the Upper West Side.
Top & Scarf: H&M; Tote: Calvin Klein
Skirt: T by Alexander Wang
Turquoise Bead Necklace: Taos Pueblo (2011)
Turquoise Disc Necklace: Priviledged (2011)
Sandals: Cole Haan (2011)
Walking through Central Park (it was so HOT!)
I really want to thank the Paige Denim team at the store on Columbus.  It was so hot and I was so sweaty, but they were so friendly and helpful.  I was disappointed because right before my trip I checked online and they had my favorite cut, Laurel Canyon, in Petite length, but by the time I went shopping it was discontinued! I still own a pair of Laurel Canyon from a few years ago because I am hoping to fit back into them, but what a bummer that they are discontinued! Also,  their new petite length jeans are for women who are at least 5'4" or taller.  I am 5' and they were all long on me, but at least it wasn't 6 inches long like when I bought my first pair.  Since I had anticipated buying a pair of jeans with my giftcard from Lucky Fabb West, I didn't pack enough bottoms. I loved the Kylie Crop jeans in a dark rinse (Stream)  because even at a crop length, these came all the way to my ankles!  I have an outfit post of them coming up soon from our time in Washington, D.C. I also grabbed one of the tissue thin tops while I was at Paige to try to beat the heat!
Kylie Crop Jeans in Stream (buy here or onsale here)
Tissue Thin T-Shirt 
Times Square
We met back at the hotel and went to dinner near Times Square and just walked around with the kids looking at all the electronic billboards.  Our little one recognized it because that is where The Smurfs got lost!

Thank you for reading this was a very detailed entry!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Love New York

Sorry for the long delay! I had another post scheduled for my absence and it disappeared.  So we are back and I thought I would take you along on a retrospect of our East Coast vacation minus the family part.
Our first day, we arrived in New York in the morning and headed straight for Battery Park to take the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
The Merchant Mariners Memorial
Statue of Liberty
We were waiting for the ferry and looked over the side
to see all these coins along the pier.
View of Lady Liberty from the ferry as we pulled away from Liberty Island.
Once we arrived back from the Statue of Liberty, we headed back through Battery Park and watched the park performers before heading back up towards Wall Street and the Charging Bull.
The kids loved the street performers at Battery Park. 
I love this view of the New York Stock Exchange.
The Charging Bull
We then headed up to our hotel to check in and went around the corner to eat an amazing dinner at El Centro.  I was so caught up in my yummy pomegranate glazed steak tacos and wonderful margaritas that I forgot to take any photos!  Check out their menu here.  It was a fabulous first day in New York and it was so much fun to take the kids to some of our favorite sights.

What are your favorite sights in New York?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Living a Turquoise Dream

I was so excited to receive new turquoise clutch from the new Trina Turk for Banana Republic collection.  Most of the items I wanted, sold out very quickly in my size, but I was thrilled to find this clutch still available.  I wore it last weekend to a housewarming our family was invited to attend.
Top: Calvin Klein; Skirt: Gap Premium Denim
Sunglasses: c/o Michael Stars; Earrings: old/eBay
Bracelets (Top to Bottom): old/eBay; Target; DIY
Shoes: L.K. Bennett Maddox (here in red)
The clutch has a strap that easily falls back inside when not needed and the most gorgeous lining.  But my favorite thing about it is that it is large enough to carry more than only my cell phone.  I fit, my iPhone, CC & ID, lip balm, blush and brush as well as some cash.  The final bonus is that the color of the purse is the exact same shade as my L.K. Bennett wedges!  I know many people no longer match their bags to their shoes, but my grandmothers used to do it and so does my mom.  So I will continue to do it if I want.
Are there rules you can't bring yourself to break?
***This is a scheduled post.  I will respond to everyone upon my return***