Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Girls Weekend in Boston

On Friday, I ventured to Amtrak at Penn Station for the first time ever for my train to Boston. My train was unfortunately delayed which made me even more anxious and excited to see my besties, Emily and Caroline.

Last year I visited them and flew, and my plane got so delayed, so apparently, I can never win with travel. You can read about my adventure in Boston last year, HERE!

J Crew factory orange and white blouse | J Crew factory denim jacket | Gap white high waisted skinny jeans in tall | Jack Rogers Hampton sandals in platinum | Tiffany pearl studs | Baublebar gold script monogram necklace | Tory Burch gold logo bangle  

After my 5-hour Amtrak ordeal, which was nice despite being long, I made it to South Station and met up with Emily!

We had a pasta dinner at Trattoria il Panino in the north end of Boston. It wasn’t as good as the pasta in Italy, but it was close.
We finished off dinner with the famous Mike’s Pastry! I opted for a HUGE chocolate-chip cannoli that I DEVOURED while overlooking Boston Harbor.
The line for Mike’s was out the door! They have the best cannolis ever and I would highly recommend going if you are in Boston.
Actually, a member of the family that owns Mike’s Pastry is actually a guy that lived on the same floor as Emily and me, freshman year at Wake Forest! How funny!

After spending a couple of hours in Boston for my 4th time I really started to realize that I would love to live in Boston one day. 
I think the combination of all the cute boys walking around and just how clean and cute the city was really started to make me think about living in Bean Town when I graduate Wake. I could hardly sleep that night because all I was thinking about was how I could go to law school in Boston or live there and work there one day! I have always loved Boston because it is a cleaner, quieter and smaller New York!
 This was the first time I actually thought about living there and I’m kind of sold!

We drove home to Emily’s house for the night and slept until our early wake up call for Cycle Bar Saturday morning.

If you’ve known me for a while, you would know I LOVE SoulCycle! I love the music, the energy and the instructors. SoulCycle is a very expensive workout and is definitely a cult, but I love it and spinning gets me in the best shape and puts me in the best mood!
Emily has Cycle Bar in her hometown, so I decided to try it out. The first class is free, so I had nothing to lose.
I really enjoyed it! It was very similar to SoulCycle! The music was a bit more relaxed and the class was a bit more relaxed than Soul in general, but I was able to push myself!
It was a good workout and a great way to start the day!

J Crew Factory white dress | J Crew Factory denim jacket | Jack Rogers Hampton sandals in platinum | Tory Burch double pearl earrings | Tory Burch gold logo bangle

After breakfast and getting ready for the day, the rain was coming down hard. In the rain, Emily and I drove to Caroline’s house for the night to celebrate Caroline’s dad’s 50th birthday. The rain lightened up and we were able to go outside for the party! All of Caroline’s family was so nice and we just had the best time! We laughed so hard all night and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning hanging out and talking.
We barely slept but it was so worth it.

Sunday morning, we said goodbye to Caroline as she is headed back to Wake in the fall and Emily and I are headed abroad to Europe!
Because of all the rain, the roads around Caroline’s house were completely flooded. It took us a while to get to the city but once we did, the sky started to clear up and the sun started to come out.

Emily and I did some window shopping at the Prudential Center, which is a shopping mall in an office building in the center of the city. We also went to CAVA, a Mediterranean chipotle-styled restaurant. It was super yummy, and I would definitely go back.

I sadly made my way to South Station to catch my delayed (shocker) train home to NY.
The trip was long, but the views were so worth it. The train goes along the whole coastline of CT. The views are absolutely breathtaking. The train ride was very peaceful and relaxing. I got to do some thinking and relax after my fun weekend in Bean Town.

The whole weekend I just kept thinking about how lucky I am to have such amazing friends.
Emily and Caroline are two of my closest friends and I am so blessed and lucky to have them in my life. They make me so happy and I laugh the hardest when I am with them.
I feel so lucky to have met these crazy girls freshman year at Wake and I can’t wait for all of our future adventures!!

Caro, see u in January and, Em, meet you in Paris!


Friday, August 10, 2018

Retail Hell: What It’s Really Like to Work Retail

I kept a little secret from you guys this summer. While I was working at my internship, I was also working a retail job part time!

This is what I would wear to work! A cute dress with a denim jacket or sweater thrown over my shoulders with a statement piece of jewelry. If you haven't noticed, I love this dress! I have it in every color because look how flattering it is! It can be dressed up or down and it is perfect for a retail job. 
I love these earrings from Rocksbox. They are so pretty and are definitely a conversation starter! You can get one month free of Rocksbox if you use the code tallandpreppyxoxo at checkout!

It was a really great experience and I learned a lot about myself and about society in general.
My bosses were great, as were my coworkers.
Customers on the other hand were a toss-up.
I had some customers that were so sweet and so appreciative of my help that they warmed my heart. Others were the exact opposite and were so rude that I had steam coming out of my ears.

I am going to tell you about some customers I had and show you what it’s really like to be a sales associate.

Before I spill some tea on customers, let’s go over some dressing room and store etiquette.

NEVER EVER leave your tried-on clothes on the floor in the dressing room! It’s gross because someone else is going to buy those clothes and it is fair for the sales associate to have to clean up after you.
Do you leave your clothes on the floor at home? I don’t think so, so don’t do it at the store.
Politely hang up your clothes in the dressing room after you are done trying them on or put them on the rack right outside the dressing room door.
It’s common curtesy.

Don’t stay after close or come in five minutes before close, its rude and sales associates have lives too!

Don’t ask several sales associates for help! You only need one to help you!

And now onto the juicy stories I’m sure you are all waiting for.

This one man was so rude to me I was fuming. He wanted me to find a size in the sale rack. How the sale rack works is if we have a size it is there on the rack. We don’t hold stock of sale items. He asked me to look it up on the computer, which I said wasn’t how it worked because if a size is there it’s there. I asked if he had looked through the shirts yet to find the size. He then asked me if he could ask me a question. I said yes as I was looking for the shirt for him. He then asked me if he was in a “self-help store?” I said, “excuse me” and he said, “so what’s the point of a sales associate if I have to do everything myself?” I handed him the shirt and walked away.
I was fuming.

A week later I had another crazy client who made me grab her shirts and sweaters for 3 hours. She would put the same items on and I would tell her it looked good and then she would take the sweaters off and put it back on. 3 hours of nonsense for her to only buy one sweater and argue with the manager for 30 minutes at the cash register about the price.

But then I had really nice customers. This one lady was so self-conscious of her body after turning 66 that she told me she needed pants but didn’t want to try any on. So, with a small nudge I pushed her to do it and we were successful! She found some pants she loved! I showed her how if she dresses in items that extenuate her waist, which is her smallest part, she will look thin! I told her I learned everything I knew about fashion from my mom and Stacy and Clinton on What Not to Wear! She loved the outfit that I was able to pick out for her and she was so appreciative! It was so nice helping her and it warmed my heart how appreciative she was!

Another funny thing was that at work I would constantly get complements. I was always told I was an Ann Hathaway look alike. I also got major complements on my eyelashes all day at work from strangers.

Those were the craziest people and experiences I had this summer working retail!
Overall, I really liked my job and would recommend others to work retail! 
I learned a lot about other people and how the world is!


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Let’s Get Moisturized with Neutrogena Part 2

If you remember a couple of months ago I did one of my first ever “beauty” posts all about my moisturizing routine!
It was about my LOVE for my Neutrogena Hydro Boost water gel!
I love that face cream because it really moisturizes my skin!

Neutrogena just came out with more items in the Hydro Boost line and I am so excited because they are my new favorites!

I hate when I wash my face and it feels all dry and tight. With this new cleansing gel, my face feels like I already washed and moisturized it!
The new cleansing gel has the same hyaluronic acid in it that my favorite moisturizer does, so your skin is getting clean AND moisturized when you use this product.

I also love the new Hydro Boost Hydrogel Mask!
It is a sheet mask. (Cue the laughs for how silly I look!)
It is very cooling and of course moisturizing, because it has hyaluronic acid in it!
I kept the mask on for 20 minutes, before putting on my makeup, and my skin felt so supple and moisturized right before my girl’s night out in NYC!

I would ABSOLUTELY recommend these new products to a friend!
There are more products in the Hydro Boost line that I cannot wait to try, like the Hydro Boost Hydrating Lip Shine or the Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion SPF 50!

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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Celebrate My 20th Birthday With Me

Celebrate my birthday with me and learn 20 fun facts about me! I know I’m supposed to be getting presents for my birthday but since it’s my birthday I can do whatever I want, and on my birthday, I want to give y’all a present: fun facts about me!!

1.         I have a birthmark on the back on my head that I’ve never seen. It’s called an Angel’s Kiss.
2.         I’m on a Girl Scout cookie box: the Thanks A Lot’s.
3.         I am slightly afraid of dogs.
4.         I hated chocolate when I was a little kid. I only ate white chocolate. But now I LOVE chocolate!
5.         I’ve gotten my car towed (last summer.)
6.         My celebrity crush is Zac Efron, ever since he was in High School Musical. It is still my favorite movie!!
7.         I wanted to be a singer when I was little!
8.         I am told that I resemble a young Anne Hathaway, especially when she was in Princess Diaries, another favorite movie of mine.
9.         I love PASTA, PIZZA and BREAD omg!! But I try not to eat them.
10.      I have zero patience for painting my own nails and letting them dry.
11.      I’ve never broken any bones (knock on wood.)
12.      My all-time favorite tv show is Say Yes to the Dress.
13.      I hate carrots and tomatoes.
14.      I love Pilates and spin classes.
15.      I want to be a lawyer when I finish school.
16.      I got my ears pierced at age 10 and they got infected, so I let them close up. I thought they did but then in 8th grade I tried to put earrings in and the holes were still there! 
17.      I hate wearing black. I love COLOR!
18.      The higher the heels the BETTER (even though I am 5’9”)!
19.      I was a junior bridesmaid at my brother Michael’s wedding when I was 10.
20.      I’ve never been to the west coast.
21.      And one for good luck- my name is actually Elizabeth Guariglia!


Thursday, August 2, 2018

Girls Night Out on Broadway

J Crew Factory white linen off-the-shoulder blouse | American Eagle high-waisted white skinny jeans  | ASOS orange lace up heels (orange is sold out but they come in yellow and black!) | Rocksbox Dusk Avery Charm Necklace

Well there is never a dull moment in my life.
Last night, my best friends from high school and all of our moms planned on taking a 5:30 train into NYC for dinner and a Broadway show.

Unfortunately, the Long Island Rail Road is sometimes less than reliable, and trains stopped running on our local train line.
We were forced to go to another train line and the train was super delayed, so we missed our dinner reservation at Bond 45.
We quickly decided on Shake Shack as our alternative dinner and then rushed to the theater to see Carousel.

The cast of this show was out of this world talented.
Joshua Henry, who won a Tony Award for his performance in Carousel, was the male lead. He had the most beautiful voice.
Jessie Mueller also had a phenomenal voice. She has been nominated for many awards and actually was the first one to play Carole King in Carole King the Musical, before her sister took over as the lead. My mom and I saw her sister last year in Carole King the Musical. It was so funny because they both have the same voice!
The famous, Renée Fleming was also in the star-studded cast. She is an internationally acclaimed opera singer. She has won four Grammy awards and has sung for the Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. 
Lindsay Mendez received a Tony Award for her performance in Carousel and blew me away by her voice.
There were two New York City Ballet soloists in the cast as Louise and Jigger Craigin.

Carousel is a Rodger and Hammerstein show. Rodger and Hammerstein wrote some of my favorite shows including; Cinderella, the King and I, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, and South Pacific.
They are known for their beautiful full-orchestra music and beautiful dance number musicals. 
This show was as expected. 
The music was amazing. The singing was beautiful. And the dancing was indescribable. 

This show was a morality piece so there was not really a plot to it.
Rather, it was more of a ballet and opera and less of a piece of theater. 

It was not my favorite Rodger and Hammerstein show, but it was still amazing!

I would highly recommend going to see this star-studded cast before the show ends!

I wore this very chic outfit into the city last night. All white! 
All white is a bit dangerous, but I wanted to highlight my fabulous orange shoes (which you may remember from formal, which are actually pretty comfortable) and my fabulous new necklace from Rocksbox!

The necklace is 14K gold and silver plated and has one-of-a-kind hand set gemstones. It is absolutely precious. I am obsessed with it! I couldn’t stop playing with all the little charms all night at the show!

I worked with Rocksbox last summer and I LOVE THIS COMPANY!
I wouldn’t be working with them two years in a row, if I didn’t love the brand and their jewelry subscription program.

Rocksbox.com describes their service perfectly.

“Rocksbox is a subscription based try before you buy jewelry
For $21 a month, you'll receive three pieces of jewelry that are yours to wear on loan for as long as you like! When you're ready to refresh your set, just put your set back in the mail using the reusable envelope it came in, and the prepaid shipping label in your set.
The best part? You can refresh your jewelry as often as you like - you're not limited to once per month! You can also keep a set indefinitely, as long as you're still paying the monthly fee, but since fashion is all about change, we recommend keeping things fresh!
Shine Credit ($21 in credit, we provide for you) is deposited to your Rocksbox account on the first of every month and will be automatically applied to your purchase. This Credit will expire at the end of each month, but you will receive another $21 Shine Credit at the beginning of the following month.”

The thing is, every time they send me new jewelry items, I try them on, wear them and fall in love with them that I end up purchasing pretty much every item I try on!!

I am working with Rocksbox to give you YOUR FIRST MONTH FREE with the code: tallandpreppyxoxo

You can’t miss out on this amazing offer!


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

My Trip to Italy: Tuscany Travel Guide

Welcome to my third installment of My Trip to Italy: Tuscany!
Click HERE to read about my time in Rome and click HERE to read about my time in Florence!

After our minor car accident, we made it to Panzano, in Chianti in Tuscany, a very cute village about 45 minutes from Florence.

Finding our villa was very hard. The directions and address that our travel agent gave us were incorrect and did not take us to the right spot. But after making it to town, we found a hotel and the lady at the front desk was able to call the manager of the villa and he was able to come save us, after a super nauseating ride with windy roads. 
I would not recommend driving in Tuscany at night unless you know where you are going.
There was a bit of stress and aggravation with getting lost and not having data, but once we got to the villa and saw the views, and the great pool, we were calm and ready to begin relaxing after all of our touring!

Our villa is called La Rota. There were 3 houses, one for each of the families on our trip- one for my sister and her family, one for my brother and his family and one for my parents with my brother and I!

The villa was pretty rustic; there was no air conditioning, plenty of mosquitos and a washing machine but no dryer, but it had amazing views! 

I kind of felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. We were surrounded by olive trees, and grape vines but we are only a mile from town!

The first night in Tuscany, we went to dinner at Cantinetta Sassolini in Panzano. It was the oldest building in Panzano that was turned into a restaurant. I had gnocchi for dinner, which was served outside and I enjoyed my meal while I got eaten alive by mosquitos. It took us 10 minutes to get to the restaurant, but it took us 45 minutes to get home because we got seriously lost.

 Data is a necessity because Google Maps is a necessity in Tuscany! Waze, does not work well, at all. We ended up on a dirt road, the car was all banged up, so good thing my parents took out full coverage insurance on the car! Another pro-travel tip right there! We also learned that if you end up on a dirt road TURN AROUND!!

July 25th

My first morning in Tuscany consisted of my sister and sister-in-law dragging me out for a morning run into town. Only one and a half miles, but completely uphill!
The road to our villa is so steep, I couldn’t run it. I could barely run the rest of the route into town. I could feel the elevation of being in the mountains and it was not helping my poor attitude towards running. But, I did run the whole mile and a half home because it was all downhill!!!

After our exhausting run in the heat and mountains, we changed and got ready for a private vineyard tour, lunch and wine tasting at Il Palagio di Panzano vineyard

I wore my J Crew navy blue eyelet dress with my big J Crew floppy hat (similar) and my Jack Rogers.

The sommelier, Irene, was so knowledgeable and so cute! She put up with all of my family’s crazy nonsense.

After learning about how the vineyard makes the wine, and we got a tour of the Chianti Classico vineyard, we sat down at this table fit for the kings and queens of New York, aka our family and had a feast!

With every course, we had a different glass of wine and learned how to properly smell and taste the wine. 
I learned that when opening the bottle, don’t touch the cork with your hands for fear of contamination, rather, sniff the cork while it is still in the bottle opener.

After the bottle is open, pour the wine into the glass and hold the glass by the stem, so your perfume doesn’t contaminate the smell or the taste of the wine. Then, you can tilt the glass and see what color the wine is when you hold it up to the light. If there is sediment in the wine when you tilt it, that means it is a good wine!

We must have tried about seven wines!

It was such an amazing meal with such amazing people!

After our three-hour lunch, we hung out at the pool and realized that we were too stuffed (and drunk) to eat another large meal. We figured that it was best to stay home for dinner and bring in some food!

Pasta, pizza and salad were acquired, and we were able to have a nice relaxing evening at home, including card playing. Going out to dinner night after night is exhausting, so it was really nice to hang out at the villa.

July 26th
After a day of relaxing we were ready for some more exploring! We went to San Gimignano, an ancient walled-in city about an hour from Panzano! 

More windy, nauseating roads but the roads weren’t too bad in the daylight. The city was really cool and we got to do some shopping!

I wore my J Crew Factory white eyelet blouse with my J Crew factory cotton wrap skirt (ON SALE) and my J Crew factory "New York" white and pink bandana in my hair.

As you know, Italy is known for their leather, so my mom treated me to a really cute navy leather top handle purse to remember my time in Italy.
It was only €45!

I am obsessed with my new bag! It is so lady-like and I will always remember my time in Italy when I look at my bag! I also got a little leather keychain that I might put on my keys or on my new bag! I am so excited to use my new purse!

I was really looking for a scarf as a souvenir, because it all started in Paris when we bought scarves as our mementos, and I wanted to keep that trend going but I didn’t really see any that I liked and after all, Italy is known for their leather!!

After shopping we ate lunch at this really good restaurant, La Mandragola, and of course finished the meal with gelato! 

We then hung at the pool before going to dinner in Panzano at Ristorante Oltre il Giardino
This restaurant was sooo good and the views were breathtaking! I had wild boar stew for dinner with some risotto on the side.

 You could see grapevines for miles and miles and miles over the hills in Tuscany from this restaurant! The ceiling of the restaurant was even covered in grapevines! After dinner followed gelato in the little town square. 

I had gelato just about every day, and by the end of the trip my pants were really tight, but I had concluded what my favorite flavors were: raspberry, mixed berry and chocolate! 

On the 27th, we walked to town for a little cardio, because we were starting to realize that our pants were very tight!

We had lunch at the pool at home and decided to go to another little city for dinner. We went to Castellina and ate at Taverna Squarcialupi for dinner. 

It was my least favorite meal of the trip, but it was still amazing. 
Instead of bread, our waitress brought out deep fried pizza dough, which was probably the best part of the meal. I had pasta for dinner (shocker) and then some more gelato for desert (shocker.) The gelato was less than satisfactory, in my opinion. I did choose the Nutella flavor, which was a bit of a risk, and I regret the risk.
Apparently, Castellina is supposed to have the best gelato in the region, but I didn’t think so.

I wore my J Crew Mercantile t-shirt, my new favorite t-shirt, with my ASOS cotton bubble-gum-pink mermaid skirt (ON SALE)! High pony tail and Jack Rogers were my accessories!

After getting gelato, my brother-in-law ran to tell me that there was a French family sitting outside of the gelato shop, on a bench and that they wanted to meet me after hearing from my brother-in-law, that I am going to France in the fall.

I hardly understood the family as they were speaking very quickly, but I tried my hardest and got some words across coherently (I hope).

The roads were very windy and nauseating on the way home, and a bit treacherous in the dark. But we did not get lost, thankfully!

Our last day in Tuscany, July 28th, was a bitter sweet day. We were sad to leave but a bit happy to be going back to air conditioning and mosquito free conditions in the states. 

I slept in for the first time of the whole trip and treated myself to sitting at the pool and reading my book. 

I also played in the pool with my nieces and nephews! I used to love swimming and playing in the pool when I was little, and I forgot how much I loved it! It was so fun to be back in the pool. I felt like a little kid again. I skipped lunch because I wasn’t hungry after all the food I had eaten on the trip, but don’t worry dinner made me stuffed! 

We hired Chef Mimo for our last dinner. He came and cooked us dinner at our villa. We sat outside under the stars, got eaten by mosquitos and ate our last meal in Italy all together!

I wore my J Crew Factory navy blue bow tank top with my American Eagle white high waisted skinny jeans (held in my food baby), J Crew Factory gold hoop earrings and Jack Rogers Hampton sandals in platinum

We had an absolutely AMAZING trip! We had more laughs then I can count, we drank more wine than we should have consumed, and definitely ate more pasta and gelato (I think I had 9 in total) than we should have.

It was a once in a lifetime trip and we now have stories to last a lifetime!

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