Happy Hunger Games!

…and may the odds be ever in your favor…

Despite all the Hurricane Sandy madness…I hope everyone has a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Hope everyone is staying safe.  We lost power for a couple hours last night, but it’s now back on.  Again, if anyone needs a place to stay or shower or eat, please feel free to come on over to Ditmas Park.

How to recreate Effie Trinket…

Effie has many different looks throughout the movie, The Hunger Games, so I chose to go with the pink/purple/fuchsia color scheme since that screamed the most fun to me.

Hair: Bought a super long curly blonde wig from Ricky’s and pinned it up to create the voluminous look of Effie’s hair.  I then sprayed it with Jerome Russell Strawberry Blonde Highlight Color Temporary Spray, also from Ricky’s.  To complete the look, you’ll need a huge headpiece or flower to place in the middle of the hair.  I actually found this amazing piece in Union Square from a street vendor.  I can’t believe I got so lucky!  Voila!

Makeup

Base: Kryolan Aqua Color Wet MakeUp color 070 for the white / Eyes: MAC Paint Pot in Painterly for base of lids, Make Up For Ever Diamond Shadow No 303 via Sephora all over lid, outside of lid, Make Up For Ever Matte Eyeshadow No 26 Fuchsia via Sephora all over lids to eyebrow and outside, also underneath, Make Up For Ever Matte Eyeshadow No 58 Dark Raspberry via Sephora in eyelid crease, Korres Soft Eyeliner Pencil in Athens Black / Eyelashes: Paperself Peacock (not the original (Deer & Butterfly) from movie because they were sold out, but these were close!) / Cheeks: Make Up Forever Diamond Shadow No 303 (same as above) stroke from eye to cheekbone, Make Up Forever Matte Eyeshadow No 58 (same as above) very lightly on cheekbones / Lips: MAC Lip Liner in Magenta to outline the heart, Lancome Lipstick in Fuchsia Clutch to fill in the heart.

Clothing:  Again, Effie has so many different outfits, and it’s almost impossible to recreate her exact outfits without having a seamstress alongside you or an amazing vintage boutique, so you can get a way with a lot in the clothing department.  I went with this fuchsia peplum top that I found at Forever 21, and I pinned two flowers to it to give it the “Effie volume” which I purchased at H&M.  For the bottom, I wore a simple black pencil skirt (that is so old, I have no idea where I originally purchased it.)  For the shoes, I meant to pack my black booties, which are a signature Effie look, but I forgot them, so I went with these beautiful Betsey Johnson Zingerr pumps instead, which I think Effie would totally be able to pull off.

 The girls and I celebrated Halloween this past Saturday, and I am so thankful they were such an awesome hair and makeup team to help me create this costume!  I have never been more excited about a costume I don’t think!  The girls (Alex & Marisa – also known as Pregnant Snookie & a 50’s Housewife) and I went out to downtown Annapolis on Saturday night and we literally bar hopped to almost every single bar showing off our costumes and trying to see others dressed up as well.  It’s not often that I get this much bonding time with my cousins anymore, so I was really excited to have a little girl’s night.  What a fun time!

Hope you all out there were able to enjoy the holiday as much as we were, and hope the Hurricane didn’t rain on your parade!  Again, stay safe!

Love,

Gina

Milk & Cookie

Here are a few photos from my cousin, Alex’s, bridal shower this past weekend.  Alex and her fiance, Seamus, have been calling each other “Milk & Cookie” for quite some time now, and as you can see, we decided to take that theme and run with it for her shower!  Each of the bridesmaids made a batch of cookies (or in my case brought down cookies from a Brooklyn bakery – a family favorite), and we created a little cookie bar where guests could take home some sweet treats.

The beautiful bride looking stunning in a dress from Forever 21! Rock it girl!

A gift from the in-laws! Also got her a “Gaelic & Garlic” tee. So funny!

Cousin love – Sensational Six!

  It was a great day to see family and shower Alex with love.  Isn’t she just the cutest?!?!  She is going to make such a beautiful bride!

In other news…NYC is a mess.  Insane amount of flooding, power outages, trees down, houses and cars destroyed, subways and tunnels down.  It’s unreal.  I am shocked at how much damage Hurricane Sandy has caused.  I think a lot of us were hoping it would be similar to Irene, but this is way more intense.  My husband and I have been very lucky.  We are doing okay in Brooklyn.  Luckily we are far enough inland that the flooding has not reached us, and we did not lose power.  I am praying for family and friends in the area who were not as lucky. If anyone needs a place to stay and you can get here, you are more than welcome.  Stay safe everyone.

Love,

Gina

Romantic Chambray

This past weekend, I headed back down to Maryland for my cousin, Alex’s, bridal shower!  The hubs and I headed down on Friday night and stayed with our other cousins, Marisa (Alex’s sister) and Brian at their house back in the woods of Annapolis.  They recently built a fire pit in their backyard, and with all the beautiful foliage, I thought it created a beautiful backdrop.

I have been wanting to wear the new casual chambray button down that I purchased, and decided to pair it with this ivory tulle skirt and ivory sheer tights to give it a more romantic and dressy feel for the bridal shower.  These booties were actually a gift from my Mom, who had originally purchased them for herself and decided she didn’t think she could rock them.  I gladly took them off her hands. 🙂  Thanks Mom!

Speaking of my Mom…my Mom & Dad are celebrating their Golden Anniversary today!  29 years on the 29th!  I am so happy for them, and I wish them an amazing day with many more happy years to come!  Love you.

And in other news…we are hunkered down in our Brooklyn abode staying safe from Hurricane Sandy.  I haven’t seen too much rain, but there is definitely a lot of wind.  We are prepared in case the power goes out (but I am hoping that it doesn’t.)  I have seen tons of pictures of the wrath of Sandy and all the flooding caused so far.  Hope everyone on the East Coast is staying safe!

Chambray Button Down: GAP (FYI, this runs big!) / Ivory Tulle Skirt: American Eagle – similar here and here / Belt: Urban Outfitters (old) – similar here and here / Ivory Tights: Urban Outfitters, now on sale! / Booties: Kohls (old) – similar here / Bracelet: Bauble Bar / Necklace: H&M / Watch: NYC Street Vendor / Rings: Gold Claddagh Ring (Irish traditional ring) – mine was a gift, but you can find one here, other ring gift from my 8th grade Confirmation / Lipstick: MAC Rebel

#71 Try Acupuncture

For over 13 years (maybe more) I have suffered from some minor back pain.  It’s nothing that makes me want to run to the emergency room to figure out how I can fix it immediately.  It’s more of a chronic, deeper, inside, nagging pain.  I remember feeling extreme back pain after a bad car accident at age 15, and I was treated for weeks with physical therapy.  At the time it seemed to help, but maybe it never really went away?  I’m not sure if that is definitely the cause of my current pain today or if it also has to do with the odd curve shape of my spine, or those monthly lady problems.  I should probably get an MRI to be sure (since I think I only got an x-ray and a CAT scan at the time of the accident).  Nevertheless, the pain is there, and doing nothing about it isn’t going to make it go away.

That being said, I decided to try acupuncture.  I have always wanted to try, and this past summer around the time of my birthday, my husband surprised me with a trip to the acupuncturist.  My first thought was, “What?  You want to stick me with needles for my birthday?”  But the woman at the front desk of the office assured me that “it’s like a massage” and “very relaxing.”  Okay, well I don’t know what kind of massages she is getting, but it certainly was not like the massages I’m used to!  However, she was right about the relaxing part.

Before sticking me with needles, I had to fill out a long form of medical questions, and I sat down for a consultation with my acupuncturist, Jane.  She was very sweet and comforting, and we went over chinese medicine in general, the pain and I was feeling, different things I could do to help alleviate this pain at home, and what was going to happen during our acupuncture session.  The office I went to was called Olo Acupuncture in Manhattan.  The office has community acupuncture, meaning there are multiple people in the room with you as opposed to single rooms.  This is definitely more cost effective, and honestly you don’t even notice the other people in the room, because you have your eyes closed, go into your own zone, or possibly fall asleep.

During my first session, she put needles into different parts of my body (excluding my back).  Apparently, there are other points on your body that can trigger healing in your lower back.  So I had a hand stuck full of needles that I rested on top of my stomach, and a couple of other needles in different areas.  I felt a lot of pressure in that hand, and it was actually sore for a couple hours after I left, but she said that was normal, and to just keep kneading it out.  My back didn’t feel much better afterward, but again repetition is supposedly the key.  She told me to come twice a week for two weeks to see if it helped, and then depending on those results, we would figure out if/when I would need to come back.  She also mentioned that if you cannot come that frequently, to still keep coming as often as possible.

I was unable to come twice a week, so I returned the following week and I flipped over this time so she could put needles directly into my back.  She placed them in a bunch of different spots, and then in other locations all around my body.  I feel asleep once again, and I have to say…if nothing else, I definitely got some good sleep during these sessions!  She also tried something on me called cupping.  Basically they put these suction cups on you to pull the “old stuck blood” to the surface to relieve pain.  The result ends up looking like you have a bunch of bruises on your back, but it’s supposed to help.

The following week, I went on family vacation, and did not make an appointment.  Unfortunately, I dwindled off from going to the acupuncturist altogether.  There were also a few medical reasons while I stopped going for awhile, and then I never got back into it.

Although I’m still having back pains, I do think that it helped a little, and I would like to start going back in more frequently to see if I can kick this pain once and for all.  I felt that I gave it a decent try, but I can do better next time!  Once I start going regularly, I think I can be a more fair judge about whether or not this type of medicine works for me.  Have any of you tried acupuncture before?  What are you thoughts?  Did it work for you?

This weekend, I am headed down to Maryland for my cousin’s bridal shower.  That’s right…I have one more wedding to go to this year (December 29th).  We are also planning on celebrating Halloween down there this weekend with my cousins, and I am SUPER excited about my costume!  I don’t want to give anything away just yet, but be prepared for some awesome makeup and hair!

Happy Friday everyone!

XO,

Gina

Wedding Season Part Deux

Well, here you have it.  This rounds out the last bit of wedding season this fall.  We’ve traveled up and down the East Coast these past few months to celebrate the nuptials of some of our nearest and dearest.

The first adventure took place in Montauk, NY.  At the tip of Long Island, Montauk is a gorgeous beach setting, and couldn’t have been a more perfect spot for this bride and groom.  The entire weekend was lovely from start to finish.  The groom played rugby with my husband at the University of Maryland, so all the college boys were reunited with their beautiful ladies in tow who I very much adore.  We had a blast!

Wedding I – Montauk Yacht Club, NY

Top from StyleMint

The second wedding featured in this post is a wedding of my longest best friend, Katie.  We met when I was 4 and she was 5 as neighbors, and we have been friends ever since.  Not many people can say they have had a non-relative friend for almost their entire life.  We spent numerous years going to school together, and although, we have both moved on and moved out of our childhood homes, we have still managed to remain close.  I am so lucky to have had Katie and her family in my life all of these years, and I’m happy to welcome her new husband to the “neighborhood.”

Wedding II – Sagamore Farm, MD

Rainbow Brights

Jacket: Macy’s / Sweater: GAP Outlet / Skirt: GAP Outlet – similar here / Boots: Steve Madden – similar here / Bracelets: Oia Jules and gift from mother-in-law / Watch: Coach (old) / Necklace: Baublebar / Lipstick: MAC Impassioned 

This outfit was another great find from the GAP Outlet in the Outer Banks, NC.  I was immediately drawn to the vibrant colors of this sweater, and I love how the long sleeves pair with the short melon skirt.  This outfit transfers from the office (mine is pretty laid back!) to a night out easily.  The calf high boots are perfect for day, and you could dress it up with a heel for nighttime, no problem.

Tonight I am attending the 2012 New York Television Festival to support two of my friends and colleagues.  They have created an animated TV pilot that was chosen to premiere at this festival, and I am looking forward to seeing how it turned out.  I am very excited for them, and I wish them the best of luck with their show!

French Creek

Living in the concrete jungle, it can be tough sometimes to get out into nature and enjoy the great outdoors.  Most public transportation only takes you so far.  Getting to another major city is no problem, but to get to a campsite or a hiking trail can be a bit of a task.  Luckily, with the purchase of our new car a few months ago, we now have the luxury of going and coming as we please in any direction we choose.  My nature loving husband is especially appreciative, and to be honest I may or may not have used that in part of my selling pitch to convince him we needed a car  (along with the fact that we now live in Brooklyn, travel an insane amount, and have a driveway to park.)

We headed to French Creek State Park in Chester County, Pennsylvania for the weekend, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather!  It was warm during the day, not too cold at night, and no rain.  Perfect conditions in my opinion.  When we arrived at the campsite, we put together our tents and set up shop.  We got a new tent (thanks in-laws!), and this was our first chance to use it.  We were extremely happy with how easy it was to put up, and I was extremely happy that it stayed bug-free the whole time. 🙂

After setting up camp, our group of four set out on a three hour hike.  We got a great work out while taking in the colorful views on the trails.  The foliage was just so beautiful; I love being outside at this time of year.  After working up an appetite, we came back to camp and cooked up a delicious meal.  We sat around the campfire until way after dark telling stories and catching up with our friends.

My only gripe with the trip was that it ended too soon.  What a wonderful weekend with wonderful friends.

(Last photo by Erin Pollard.  All other photos my own.)

What are some of your favorite places to visit in the great outdoors?  We decided we want to try a new campsite every year, so we are looking for recommendations.  Let me know!

XO,

Gina

Glamping

Glamping (verb) Going camping, but with glamour.

Ok so, we may not have embraced the “glamping” term the way the Real Housewives of Orange County would have…we actually got down and dirty camping with tents and sleeping bags.  But who says you can’t enjoy nature without a little bit of style?

The hubby and I met up with our besties, Erin and Rai, this weekend for some fun in the outdoors and smores in the woods of Pennsylvania.  Here are a few shots of me in my “glamping” gear.

Cargo Pants: H&M – similar here / Top: Lady Foot Locker / Vest: Merona via Target (old) / Hat: John Deere / Sunglasses: Calvin Klein / Bracelets: Friendship bracelets from the boardwalk on Jacob Riis Park, Batman bracelet / Boots: Aldo / Earrings: Aldo

Photos by: Rai Pollard

Wedding Season

Well, it’s definitely wedding season again!  We have a total of 8 weddings that we were invited to this year, and half of them were in the past two months.  It’s been a lot of traveling, but it’s been a ton of fun.  The weddings have been so beautiful and unique.  The first one featured here took place at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.  It was the first military wedding that I had attended, and it was very cool to see all the gentlemen dressed up in their whites with their swords.  The second was held at the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD.  It was a quirky fun location that totally fit the personality of this fun-loving couple.  It’s been a blast running around this season snapping photos of all the couples saying their vows and breaking it down on the dance floor.

Wedding I…

Wedding II…

Artwork at the museum

On left: My cousin (remember that fabulous photographer from Misa*Me Photography?) wearing Forever 21. Similar here.  On right: Me wearing H&M.  Who says you can’t get luxe looks for less?!

Bridesmaids got purple chucks for the dance floor! So fun.

Dance competition

Going to all these weddings this past year makes me think back to my own wedding day, and how much fun it was.  My husband and I danced to Michele Featherstone’s, “We Are Man and Wife” for our first dance, and all our family and friends were up on their feet the whole time rocking’ out.

For my married friends out there, what song did you dance to on your wedding day?  And if you aren’t married, which song would you choose in the future?

If you like these photos, stay tuned, because Wedding Season Part II will be featured next week.  Hope you all have a happy weekend!

XO,

Gina

Color Pops & Polka Dots

I found this bright red-orange trench coat down at the outlets this summer when I was on vacation in the OBX.  I love how it pairs with the mint green pants and the navy and white polka dot button down.  For me, this was a great transition into fall, because you can cover up to keep from getting chilly, but you still get those bright color pops!  I chose these sparkly ballerina flats because of all the walking I have to do in the city, and they are so comfy!

Jacket: Gap Outlet / Shirt: J. Crew Outlet / Pants: Zara / Shoes: Nordstrom Rack / Bag: Longchamp Le Pliage in Graphite / Elephant Ring: Noir – similar also here  / Watch: NYC Street Vendor / Bracelet: NYC Street Vendor

Photos by: Zack Notes

This week is going by super fast!  I can’t believe it’s already Thursday.  The hubs and I are looking forward to a camping trip to PA this weekend with one of our fav couples, Erin & Rai (who made an appearance on the blog yesterday).

This week, I cannot seem to stop listening to this new song I was introduced to by Ben Kweller called “Full Circle.”  It’s definitely a feel good jam, and I’ve been bouncing around to it on repeat all through the city and the subway.  Check it out!