Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I would definitely work out more if....

I would definitely work out more if...

...I had a pair of these awesome sneakers!

(Image via Asics, $120)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Where I Work!

As many of you know, I work for Urban Outfitter's Inc., the parent company of five of the most compelling brands: Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, Terrain and BHLDN.  (Ever heard of 'em?!) 

We're a Philadelphia founded and headquartered company, located at the old Philadelphia Navy Yard...and we have a pretty awesome campus!  So today, I thought I'd tell the story of how we got here and give share a virtual tour of where I work!    

Yup, thats my desk!

In the early 2000s, URBN had about 600 employees spread out over numerous buildings in downtown Philadelphia.  This dispersion of the employees was causing problems and our Founder, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Dick Hayne wanted to design a space that reflected his company's designs and products as well as fit the needs of the employees for space and creativity.  And with that vision, the company bought four buildings and leased a fifth in the abandoned Navy Yards for literally $1 in 2004!!

A picture of the warehouse and naval yards before the renovation

While renovation to transform the dilapidated old buildings into the 330,000 sq. ft of inspired, creative and light filled work spaces that houses all of the Urban Outfitters brands cost ~$100 million, many of the materials in the building were reused and reclaimed. 

URBN at the Navy Yard

The resulting look of the new campus is one that preserves the scars and reflects the history of the Navy and its construction and repair of naval vessels. Paint was left on walls, metal was sandblasted and left to rust, reclaimed wood was used to make new staircases and windows were removed, re-glazed, and reinstalled. 

And even more, the creative folks here make sure you unbdoubtedly know what brand building you've entered as soon as you walk into the lobby... 

Lobby of Anthropologie brand building

Lobby of Urban Outfitters brand building

Lobby of Free People brand building

Most of the offices and studios are open to the warehouse and light streams in from skylights and high windows on the multi-story warehouse buildings.

designers hard at work

A Free People conference room

Pathways surrounding the campus are reminiscent of railway lines and old broken up concrete pieces were artfully repositioned into "Barney Rubble," a sculpture in one of the plazas
"Barney Rubble" pathways surrounding the dog park
(and do you see that old hyperbaric chamber?!)

The campus also features lawns, a dog park (employees are allowed to bring their dogs to work), a gym, places to eat, a yoga studio, and even our own farmer’s market every other Wednesday!
Building 543
home to our gym, coffee shop and cafeteria
And a recently rennovated dry dock (with floating letters that spell out URBN) - the perfect spot for lunch...or company bbq.

Dry Dock

What do you think?  And what doess your office look like?


(Images via URBN and

Monday, February 27, 2012


I am 26...and utterly, hopelessly and romantically in love with the Twilight series...and I am not ashamed to admit it! 

For those of you in complete disgust, let me start by saying the series is more of a love story than anything else.  Yes there are vampires, and maybe some warewolves too, and the author is most definitely writing for a juvenile audience...but most of us have seemed to accept that some of the best and most fantastical stories of other worlds (ahem Harry Potter...and even The Hunger Games!) attracts an audience that transcends both age and relative interests.

This is a story of a love so intense, so powerful, that "as long as we both shall live" takes on a whole new meaning.  And Edward Cullen is so wise, but not beyond his years (he is, after all, 17 years old and has been so for over 100 years) and the epitomy of a hopeless romantic.  It's quotes like this that has me heart craving for more...

 “I'm from a different era. Things were a lot less complicated. And if I would have met you back then, I would have courted you. Would've taken chaperoned strolls and had iced tea on the porch. I may have stolen a kiss or two, but only after asking your father's permission, I would've got down on one knee and I would've presented you with a ring.

(If you can't tell, I'm obviously Team Edward.  Despite thinking beforehand that I'd be team Jacob b/c Taylor Lautner is such a cutie...)

I'll admit, I only started "reading" (aka listening) because I had already plowed through almost every other option in my mom's audio book library over the past 8 months.  I also actually tried to read the first one a few years ago but couldn't seem to get into it!  I was convinced it could never live up to my dearest Harry Potter!

This time around though, I was immediately drawn in...  So much so, that I read all 4 books in 2 weeks.  And I think Nate is starting to worry!

I'm interested to hear your thoughts on the Twilight series - have you read the books?  Seen the movies? Or does this post make you want to barf? 

Are there any other adult Harry Potter fans out there?!

And what is / will be the next must read series?!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Have a lovely weekend!

Hi ya'll!  Hope you're heading out of work shortly to begin some weekend fun!  What are you up to?  Tomorrow, I'm heading to Philadelphia for a baby shower honoring my sister-in-law, Sara's!  (I'm so looking forward to a girlie afternoon and still can't believe I am going to be an aunt in less than 1 month!)  Afterwards, I am meeting up with some of my favorite (phillly) JMU girls to play a little catch up!  Anyways, have a lovely weekend and enjoy these links - see you next week!  xoxo

Packing for your honeymoon

Top 10 pointless iPhone and iPad accessories

12 (more) fonts for the font snob from Eighteen 25

48 pictures that perfectly capture the 90's

(Image via Style Me Pretty)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Craft of the Week: Leftovers

What's a girl to do with leftover craft supplies?  Here are a few fun ideas...

Valentine's Day Series # 1 - Scrabble Love
Have your own photo shoot...

Or make some creative drink coasters...

Craft of the Week: Chalkboard Wine Glasses
Make your own chalkboard coasters....

Spray paint + ceramic tiles

(Instead of buying some here)

Or a chalkboard serving platter...

Tutorial here

Valentine's Day Series #2: Printed Paper Heart Shadow Box
Make this adorable paper banner...

Tutorial here

Valentine's Day Series #4: Hearts & Maps
Frame a favorite photo with a map as your matte....

via Pinterest

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


On Saturday, I took my first ever Yoga class.

To be honest (or tbh according to my little brother's facebook abbreviations), I really hadn't been that interested to try one out before.  It seemed boring.  And the "ohm-ing" quite silly!

I also tend to prefer activities where being loud is encouraged.  Boxing.  Bootcamps.  Soccer.  Triathlons.  Something to get out a little aggression.  Where I know I'll break a hard sweat...and push my body to its limits. 

But this past fall/winter, I've had less than little motivation to work out.  Period.  I guess this happens to everyone - we all go through phases - but I needed something to get me out of this funk!

So, I decided to try something new. 

The class was an hour and fifteen minutes long and quite full.  There was no "ohm-ing", but still plenty of laughing at myself.  And it did feel good to stretch, particularly after the extended period of lethargy I was coming out of.

But, I was absolutely terrible

(Not that this surprised me.  I'm athletic, but I am in no shape or form flexible).

However, I decided to go back on Sunday (with Nate, which was a fun experience on its own).  And Monday too.  And while I don't "drink the juice"  (yet) - what I refer to as the "breathe out all your toxins" mumbo jumbo - I am enjoying the process of learning the practice.  My competitive side hates being the worst in the class, so I'm determined to keep at it for a bit to see my improvements.  Plus, the ladies in the class are beyond buff; there must be some truth behind it all then, right?!

I'm curious to hear how you were introduced to yoga.  And what you like about it. Are there any variations you recommend trying?  Did you have the same reservations as I did about trying?

P.S. I'll let you know when I buy my own mat...

(Image via Urban Bliss Yoga)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Best Friend's Bridal Shower: Part 2

~ The Menu ~

What to serve at a any party is always as much fun as it is worry.  The big concern always being - will we have enough food?!  (And the answer is almost always, yes....and way too much!)

Fortunately for me, and due to the fact that I live 3.5 hours away from where the party was being held, the majority of the menu planning fell on the shoulders of Ms. Ashley Sansing.  And boy did she do an incredible job!  She planned an amazingly catered luncheon complete with an assortment of homemade appetizers.  And, everything was gluten free!

Ashley enlisted the services of Entree Metropolitan Catering, a catering company with operations in Washington DC, New York, Baltimore, Atlanta, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.  And here is our review: the food was great, the menu options (including dietary restrictions) were limitless, the prices decent (although we scored a great deal), but we were less impressed by all the un-returned phone calls and wrong email excuses.  (So, if you're looking for services in the Northern, VA area, just remember you will need to almost stalk them!)

So what did we eat?  Besides the delicious honey nut chicken, mixed green salad, deviled eggs and large crudite and cheese platter provided by Entree, Ashley also made a huge crockpot full of homemade queso, guacamole and the most delicious gluten free pasta salad!  (And boy, did we have plenty of leftovers!)

~ The Signature Cocktail ~

I couldn't let Ashley have all the fun with the food and drink, so I took responsibility for the signature cocktail!  And I was so excited to finally have a chance to hop on the mason jar train!  That's right, we served Danielle Rozdzielski's infamous Champagne Punch in mason jars and colorful candy shop straws from BHLDN.  It was as fun as it sounds!

  • 1 16oz package of frozen whole strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
1. Blend ingredients together.  This can be done 1-2 days ahead and can be frozen.
2. Put mixture in a punch bowl and pour (slowly) 1 large bottle of champagne.  Serve!

~ Games ~

After a rousing purse scavanger hunt game, the fun continued with Kathryn answering Newlywed-esque questions we had asked Luis prior to the shower.  This was my favorite part of the day, because for every answer she got wrong Kathryn had to tell us, in Spanish, a reason why she loves Luis (her fiance).  I took videos of this portion, and I'll admit, brings tears to my eyes to watch! 

I hope you enjoyed hearing about Kathryn's shower!  Did you get any new ideas for something you're planning?


Monday, February 20, 2012

My Best Friend's Bridal Shower: Part 1

Wedding Paper Divas

Two weekends ago, I helped throw a bridal shower for one of my very best friends, Kathryn!  And I can't tell you how much fun I had planning this event for her.  The day was beautiful...our bride-to-be was positively glowing! 

And since bridal shower season is (technically) upon us, I thought I'd share with you some of the details of the day!

~ You're Invited ~
to a very Lilly shower

We knew we wanted to plan a day for Kathryn that was bright and girly, so we decided to throw her a Lilly Pulitzer themed shower!  What is more fun than a signature pink and green Lilly pattern?!  I can't think of much!  And our bride-to-be happens to have a closet full of we knew it'd be right up her alley!

Our first order of business was getting out the invitations.  We found the invitation above on Wedding Paper Divas, a great site for all wedding related stationery - from engagement to bachelorette, bridal showers, thank yous, and wedding invitation suites.  

(Lilly actually has its own line of paper goods btw - you can check some of them out here)

We included two additional cards in the invitation envelope.  One with instructions for filling out a recipe card...

Enclosed for you is a recipe card.
To fill it in, shouldn’t be hard!

Kathryn might like to try your favorite cake,
or that special dish you’re always asked to make!

Remember our girl eats gluten-free
So make some substitutes, if need be!

Bring this card on the special date,
And we’ll make her a beautiful cookbook keepsake!

We had the recipe recipe card made by ThePinkCoconut (on Etsy), who designed the card with Kathryn's new monogrammed initials and provided a PDF that we printed and cut with a paper cutter!

And another with directions for the wishing well:

Wishing wells are nice and fine,
But let's shower this bride with a bottle of wine!

Ever the hostess, ready to fill you up,
Now it’s our turn to put some pinot in her cup.

Perhaps for their anniversary or on their wedding night,
Or to have a glass after their first married fight!

Be creative and write up a little a reason,
Why you chose the wine you did to toast to Kathryn’s wedding season

~ The Decor ~

Next, we started scouring websites for everything Lilly...!  We found the most adorable matching napkins, plates, cups and decorations in the pattern Floaters and I kid you not when I say we bought everything the pattern came in!!


My favorite decor items were this amazing lantern....

 ...and these incredible pom poms!! 

~ The Favors ~

For the favors, we filled these adorable tumblers with candy!

~ Some Little Surprises ~

We even bought Kathryn a princess crown to wear while opening her presents!  To keep the attention on her, of course!

But ultimately, the adorable flower Lilly of course...stole the show!

We also made Kathryn a recipe binder to put all the cards she received using Lilly wrapping paper!  Here she is opening up her book...

Since this was the first of two bridal showers - thats right, Kathryn has one more shower to look forward to in March (!!) - I'll have have to wait until after then to reveal the other little surprises we have up our sleeves...

Anyways, have you planned a shower recently?  What was your theme or inspiration?  I'd love to hear about all the little touches - they make everything special!

And, don't forget to check back tomorrow Part 2 when I'll talk menu, signature cocktails and games!

(Photos via Preppy Princess)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Have a lovely (long) weekend!!

Hi ya'll!  Hope you didn't miss me too much yesterday! Sometimes work just gets in the way of my fun...!  Anyways, I hope this post finds most of you on the brink of a nice, long three day weekend.  I, unfortunately, do not have off on Monday so please enjoy your extra day for the both of us, ok?  And check back next week for some exiting posts about my best friend's bridal shower!  :)


Free floral heart monogram from The Wedding Chicks & Loft Life Press (mine is above!)

The New York Times on bridal fashion

Amanda Knox signs a book deal

What my darling husband gave me for Valentine's day (in pink)!

Confession: I am reading Twilight...and loving it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DIY Wedding Keepsake Box

I've been trying to figure out how or where I'm going to save all the little "mementos" from our wedding, and to be be honest, it's been a much harder task than I'd imagined!  Where do you put all this stuff?!

My dress found a home in the trunk of my car for a good 3 months after our trash the dress photo shoot (yes, it was still wet and sandy) before I finally decided to drop it off at a dry cleaners.  Its now resting peacefully in a box in the comforts of our storage unit.  (Such a sad ending for something so beautiful, don't ya think?!)

My white shoes are neatly put away in their pretty little Kate Spade box...but are taking up some much needed real estate in my closet! 

I also have a big brown box full of all the other little items: our program, ring boxes, shower invites, menus, invitation, bachelorette swag, etc. that is so disorganized its making me cringe!

Luckily, over the summer (when I was in full throttle wedding planning mode) I came across this wedding keepsake box on Etsy...

Etsy shop: TheMemoryKeepers

...and bought the supplies to make my own during one of my frequent trips to Michael's craft store!

Unfortunately, I had forgotten about my brilliant plan until this past weekend.  I was digging deep into my craft drawer when, low and behold, I found the black photo box I purchased full of scrapbooking appliques and paper!  Better late than never, right?

I had even thought ahead and printed out my own "contents" list (piggybacking off the ideas on this one):

Etsy shop: TheMemoryKeepers

my version of the checklist

While I know I'm not fitting everything into this little box, at least I know what does make the cut will be safe...  And, beautiful memories deserve to be stored somewhere pretty, right?

The best part?  The whole thing cost me a whopping $13...pennies compared to the $45 price tag on Etsy!  (Plus, I think mine's cuter anyways!)

Dare I even say it: another great gift idea!