I could not be happier that Memorial Day Weekend has arrived. This weekend officially kicks off summer and gives the color white free reign in my wardrobe for three whole months. This holiday is when we get to dust off our BBQs, pull out those beach blankets, grab our favorite pair of sunglasses and reach for a cold one (Corona Light, anyone?). We can wear bedazzled flip flops and lay in the sun, play in the waves, celebrate with friends and family, and welcome summertime with open arms.
And not to get overly sentimental, but for me, most importantly, Memorial Day is about remembering the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to fight for our freedoms. Memorial Day is a time when I look back and can appreciate how blessed I am to be an American. Sappy? Absolutely.
So, whether you’re hanging by the BBQ, tanning by the pool or relaxing on the beach this weekend, I’ve put together a guide of four FAB summer essentials to keep handy from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Thank me later.
1) Sun screen
Of course this is the first thing on my list because if you don’t use sunscreen, I beg your pardon, but you are a complete idiot. Do you want to look like you’re 80 years old and have cancerous moles when you’re 35? Is that a life goal of yours? I didn’t think so. Use sunscreen, people. This Clarins sunscreen is my very favorite and I take it everywhere with me all summer. And yes, you can still get a lovely tan with 50+ sunscreen on, so please calm down.
2) Lightweight beach tote
I live and breathe easy bags like these in the summertime. They fit all the essentials (including oversized beach towels) in them and are hassle-free. Plus, they flatten out nicely in a suitcase for summer travels. I am particularly lusting over this adorbs Kate Spade tote right now.
3) Playful Sunglasses
A great pair of fun sunnies are so crucial to a summer wardrobe. Right now I am a huge fan of mirrored aviators in bright colors— like these Ray-Bans. What I love about sunglasses, is that you can keep them on all day/night and easily go from happy hour by the beach to dinner at the rooftop lounge, sans make-up. Just throw on some lipstick!
Sandals are a summer must, and I am not talking about flip flops. Every girl needs a good pair of sandals with an ankle strap that can easily go from work to play, beach to boardwalk, airplane to hotel pool. I am in love with these fabulous Ted Baker ankle strap sandals in rose gold metallic because they are simple and will go with literally everything. (Note to yourself—metallic is the ultimate neutral).
And that’s the summer essentials lust list— so go hit those Memorial Day Weekend sales and pick up your staples! It’s gonna be a hot one :)
How excited are you for this giveaway right now? Seriously, I have been wanting to do an Apartment402 giveaway for so long and my friends at Elise Hope made it possible for us! And in addition, today is the official launch of the Apartment402 Facebook page, and I knew this giveaway would be a great way to kick it off. So LIKE and follow Apartment402 on Facebook (www.facebook.com/apartment4oh2) for updates about the blog and fun/fashionable goodies about living the charmed life, everyday.
2) Once you’ve liked the page, leave a comment on the Elise Hope Giveaway Post on Facebook (here), and tell me where you plan to wear the Windowpane Convertible Clutch this summer (To a wedding? For a Girls night out? On vacation?)
3) Follow me on Instagram or Twitter to complete your entry.
You have to complete all 3 steps to be eligible to win. Contest runs until midnight next Thursday, May 30th, so tell your friends!
*One winner will be randomly selected and announced on the blog on Friday, May 31st. Total value of Elise Hope handbag is $74.00. Elise Hope provided this handbag for giveaway on Apartment402.tumblr.com
In addition— Elise Hope has an EXTRA SPECIAL surprise, just for Apartment402 readers— if you shop at EliseHope.com between now and May 31st, readers will receive a 30% discount on all Elise Hope merchandise by entering the promo code APT402 at check out! How AWESOME is that? SERIOUSLY, GO GET SOME HANDBAGS PEOPLE! I know I will be getting myself the windowpane clutch, because I so need it for my trip to NYC next month.
Happy mid-week, lovelies! Sorry I have been a little MIA on the 402 as of late, work and life have been a little busy these days. But wanted to give you all a quick update on my vida loca with a insta-Marisa update. My instagram is the best way to keep up with me on the daily, so if you don’t follow along already— you should! @insta_marisa.
Taught myself how to FAKE a blow out on my hair! I have a tutorial for you guys coming to the blog tomorrow—you’re gonna love it, it’s SO fast and easy.
Stunning fireworks at the Dodger game last week. I love Friday nights at the ballpark :)
An impromptu, late night photo shoot with my bestie, Arbo. He is an amazing photographer and captures the most beautiful, unexpected scenic, fashion and portrait photography. Follow him on Instagram for the prettiest, most fashionable photos: @arbopaytonshah.
A Sunday night, sunset stroll in my neighborhood. I love living in a city lined with palms. Only in California!
My outfit for the Dodger game. Ripped jeans from Forever 21 (old, but similar here), a plain white tank, and a Dodger blue blazer from H&M with my new mirrored aviator glasses. Dressing down is no easy feat for me.
Since I am on this clean eating kick, I have been sticking to a lot of salads any time I eat out. This seasame ahi tuna salad from 1810 in Pasadena is one of my all-time favorites. If you know me, you know I literally cannot pass up some good ahi tuna— thank goodness it’s so lean and healthy for you!
My OOTD for a night out in Hermosa Beach for a friend’s birthday. Breaking in my new Steve Madden sandals, a pair of royal blue cropped khaki pants from GAP (I got them on sale for $25!), a light and airy striped blouse from Zara (similar here) with a Forever 21 cropped black blazer (my go-to jacket for a night out).
And finally, my new LA baseball cap I picked up at the Dodger game. I have been in desperate need of a great new ball cap for the summer and I think this black and white one is perfect. It’s casual and would work well with this outfit I put together for Stiletto Monday last week!
I am off to Miami for work tomorrow and still need to pack— AGHHH. I know, I know. I’m so bad. Looking forward to some sunshine and Cuban food, that’s for sure! Hope you all have a fab rest of the week!
As a follow up to yesterday’s vlog review on the Elise Hope Cheetah satchel, I curated a few great spring/summer looks using some of my other favorite pieces from the Elise Hope Spring 2013 collection. Elise Hope has such a broad assortment of great handbags that work well from day to night— I used my upcoming Miami trip as a spring board for ideas for what kinds of bags I would need and where I would use them. When I got to thinking, I realized that even when I am not on vacation, but just living every day life, I always need a bag that can easily take me from one event/activity to the next, without having to switch out all my stuff. So below are three transitional ways to wear three different Elise Hope bags this season, styled with outfit ideas for how to wear them best for each occasion.
Three great bags, and three great ways to wear them! Is it bad that I want all three for Miami now—in ADDITION to my Cheetah Satchel? OOPS. Which Elise Hope bag is your fave for the spring? Would you guys want to see an Elise Hope GIVEAWAY on the blog? Tweet mewhich bag you would love to have a giveaway for!
OMG, I did a video blog! I VLOGGED, guys. Watch my review (kind of janky, sorry) of my new favorite handbag for the season from Elise Hope! And stay tuned tomorrow for PART 2 of this review series, where I play stylist and show you how I plan to wear this for work, play and travel this spring and summer. I seriously LOVE this trendy and inexpensive new accessory and I think you guys will love Elise Hope, too. I mean, just look at that Cheetah detail!
Sneak peek for tomorrow’s post:
For now, start shopping Elise Hope’s collections at: www.elisehope.com and follow Elise Hope on Facebook and Twitter for more details on one of my fave handbag lines :)
Since Monday is by far the ugliest day of the week, I decided to start brightening the day up, by featuring one or more lust-worthy pairs of shoes/handbags/anything I want/need/can’t have on the blog for “Stiletto Mondays”. These items will probably [usually] be amazing shoes, but could sometimes be other things— you just never know, so you’ll have to check and see. This Monday, I am starting off with an UH-mazing pair of Giuseppe Zanotti’s. These beauties are from the Kanye West for Giuseppe Zanotti collection for this spring. My personal preference is this gorgeous gold/black pair, but they also came in a “Cruel Summer” white—
As seen here on Kim Kardashian’s instagram. The black and gold are way more my speed, though— I have about 10.5 million outfits in mind that I could wear them with. But since they will probably break the bank, I am on the hunt for a sweet alternative. I’m thinking these black and gold Steve Madden Realove Sandals might suffice as a simple alternative.
One of my favorite ways to wear these heels is outlined in the outfit below— can’t wait to rock something like this, for the summer!
A few weeks ago, I had a crazy day at work and really needed to come home and unwind. So, like all normal people do to unwind, I went to the kitchen to develop a new recipe. I just pulled random stuff out of the fridge and cabinets and VOILA: The Pecan Chicken Lettuce Wrap was born. A light, healthy dinner and a fun twist on the regular old Asian chicken salad. The earthy, sweet taste of the pecans and mushrooms with the salty, garlic soy sauce and crisp crunch of the lettuce, makes for a delightful and flavorful combination. I also love fresh-tasting dinners like this in the spring and summer because they fill you up, but don’t leave you feeling overly full.
- 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup diced pecans
- 3 stalks of green onion, chopped
- 2 cups diced white mushrooms
- 1/4 cup Trader Joes Gyoza Dipping Sauce
1) Mix garlic, green onion, sesame oil and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Pour half of mixture over 1 lb of chicken breast in a gallon-sized ziplock bag and place in fridge to marinate overnight. Cover other half of mixture and keep in fridge until the next day. (I didn’t do this the first time I made these when i created the recipe, but it tasted much better with the marinated chicken the second time around.)
2) Over medium heat, grill marinated chicken breast in a skillet. Remove from heat once grilled and chop into small pieces— set aside. Wash and cut iceberg lettuce head in half and separate 8 leaves out on a large plate.
3) In the same skillet add mushrooms and pecans, and pour remaing half of soy sauce mixture over. Cook for approximately 4 minutes. Add chicken to mushroom mixture and stir in about 1 tbsp of Gyoza sauce. Cook for about 1 minute and remove from heat.
4) Spoon chicken mixture into lettuce cups and serve with Gyoza sauce on the side for dipping. Recipe makes approximately 4 snack-sized servings (two wraps per person) or 2 to 3 meal-sized servings (4 wraps per person).
(TIP: For meal sized servings, you can also make 2 “lettuce boats”— just dont cut your lettuce head in half and use larger leaves for bigger wraps.)
Happy lettuce wrapping!
My favorite spring beauty trend is pistachio/mint green nails. I think this trend makes for an understated way to rock a tasteful green manicure. Also, pastel nails go fabulously with all the pastel fashion trends happening this season.
After a week-long hiatus, the Apartment 402 is back today— with an Instagram update of my life lately. It’s been kinda crazy these past few weeks, but it’s SO necessary to take at least some time to reflect. The weather in So Cal has been AWESOME and I’ve been living for the weekends, getting super excited for summertime, too.
A lazy Sunday afternoon with some Pinot Grigio and Sex & The City episodes on DVD.
Last week was crazy—and I spent a lot of time praying for my home away from home, Boston.
GASP— I did my own manicure for once! Loving pastel colors right now. For this I used Essie’s Ballet Slippers (pink) and Turquoise and Caicos (green).
Sunday Champagne Brunch with some of my besties in Old Town Pasadena.
Taking my beautiful baby cousin, Adrian, and his fam to the Disney Baby Store at the Americana in Glendale, CA. Here, he meets Pluto for the first time!
Feeling boho chic in my Zara maxi skirt and leopard print sandals for one casual Friday at work.
Springtime in my neighborhood—loving all the blossom-lined streets!
My sister said YES TO THE [wedding] DRESS, when we went shopping for her over the weekend. Obviously, we had to celebrate with some cocktails afterwards. It was a bridal moment.
Attended a 60th birthday soiree over the weekend and caught up with a number of old friends and people I have considered my second family, since I was just a teenager.
I’ve been in-taking a serious amount of internet news and information this week—good and bad in some cases. But today I wanted to share some of my favorite internet links of the week, to inspire all my readers in more ways than one. Looking forward to good things is always a must for me, it keeps my mind focused on the positives instead of the negatives, especially when life gets crazy busy. This weekend, I am looking forward to giving my hair a little pick-me-up, spending time with friends, visiting a local flea market and a picnic in at a favorite spot in downtown. I hope all of you have some fun weekend plans, and that Fab Four leaves you inspired to try new things, laugh a little and focus on the positives.
1) Get out your tissues—My dear friend and coworker, Marie, has her inspiring weight loss journey, chronicled this month on RichardSimmons.com. If this doesn’t inspire and motivate you, then I honestly don’t know what will.
Marie motivates me to live a healthier, more active life every single time I have the pleasure to see her at work. I am beyond blessed to know her and respect how hard she works to embrace a healthy, happy lifestyle. Not only is she a weightloss GURU, she is also one of the sweetest, most genuine people I know. To know Marie is to love her and she is the ultimate definition of FABULOUS. Cheers to Marie!
2) YOUphoria at Nordstrom
I am obsessed with this new #YOUphoria campaign Nordstrom put out this week. I think it’s kitchy, trendy and a little off-kilter…which is probably why it resonates so well with me. But after watching it, I really want to go light a bonfire in a laser-cut leather skirt, who’s with me?
If you liked this video— you’ll love the other two, see them here and here.
3) Lindsay Lohan on David Letterman
My main reason for sharing this one— LINDSAY’S DRESS. I am obsessed with the print, the tank style and the midriff cut out. One of my fave style bloggers, Blair, from Atlantic-Pacific also rocked this frock from Suno. Kudos to Lindsay on the amazing fashion statement, taking Letterman’s verbal attacks in good stride and just looking absolutely fabulous. (I will always wave a tiny flag for Lindz, despite what the tabloids blab about.)
4) Kate Spade’s Home in Southampton, NY
This week, Matchbook Magazine posted an amazing photo tour of Kate and Andy Spade’s home in Southampton, NY. Needless to say, I am obsessed with everything about that house. These photos provided me with some SERIOUS interior design inspiration, and I think you will be inspired, too.
I love pink lemonade. I think it’s a pretty, sweet and perfect drink for a lazy spring/summer afternoon in a hammock. In the movie Bridesmaids, when Kristen Wigg gets that glammed up pink lemonade on her way into the crazy French bridal shower and she goes, “Sh*t, that is FRESHHHH,” I always LOL, because I just can relate. (If you don’t like Bridesmaids, or haven’t seen it, I am not apologizing for the reference, because you fools need to learn to love that movie ASAP. For real, it’s in my top ten faves.)
So, with my love for pink lemonade in mind, I created a new lip look for spring, inspired by the drink. Here’s how to get some fresh-to-death pink lemonade lips in just four easy steps.
2) A favorite lipstick trick I learned from this tutorial, is to apply concealer to my lips before I apply lipstick. The concealor helps to create a blank canvas for the lipstick and really makes the color pop against my skin. Use a concealor brush to apply to ensure even coverage.
3) Next, apply a highly-pigmented pink lipstick. I love MAC’s pink satin lipstick in Saint Germaine because it’s a bright, bubble gum pink and always adds a fun twist to any beauty look.
4) Use a lip brush to apply a sheer layer of a bright coral or melon-colored lip gloss with a high pigment (ie: rich in color). I used Smashbox’s Lip Shine in Melon-Drama from their Heartbreaker Collection.
5) Mix the lip gloss in well with the lipstick. A trick I use for the best-mixed result is to use an angled eyeliner brush instead of a regular lip brush—the narrow brush really helps to blend well. And VOILA! Enjoy your kissable, springtime, lemonade lips!