Monday, July 29, 2013

Cross-body Crazy

Crossbody Crazy
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

As I'm slowly starting to prepare for my trip to London, I've been on the hunt for some essentials. I'm looking for the perfect cross-body bag that is big enough to carry all of my things (i.e. money, passport, phone, camera, etc.) but isn't too bulky and is versatile. This may seem like a lot to ask for, but I think I've found a round up of six cross-body bags that could do the trick. I love cross-body bags because I can just throw them over my shoulder and go. I don't have to worry about keeping the bag on my shoulder because it's hands free or it being too heavy. Even though I'm looking for a bag for London, cross-bodies are great for any one who's heading back to school. You can wear them out shopping for the day or out to parties at night!

I think I'm leaning towards number two in black. You can't tell from the picture but the front flap is actually a pocket that goes all the way down to the back of the bag. It's a great place to keep valuables so there's less of a chance of them getting stolen. 
Which cross-body bag do you like the best?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Instagrammy Sunday

Walking in to Newport Folk Festival.
Before the rain and mud at Newport Folk Festival.
Blake Mills playing with Dawes at Newport Folk Festival.
The beautiful ride home after a rainy day at Newport Folk Festival.

On Friday, I went to Newport Folk Festival with Drew and our friend Emily. It was a rainy and fun day of music and the best grilled cheeses ever (and Thai food for Em). For those of you who don't know about Newport Folk Fest, it's a three day folk festival of bands, performers, food and vendors held at Fort Adams in Newport, RI. It's a long day but so fun. If you're into music I would highly suggest going at some point in your life. Many up and coming as well as already famous folk-y bands play there. It's even where Bob Dylan got his start. I'll have more info on some of my favorite bands that played soon.
What a great highlight to my week!
Here's to the next.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes

Remember a couple Instagrammy Sunday posts ago, I shared my photo of the Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes I made for my dad's birthday? (If not, see here) Well I'm finally sharing the recipe for these delicious cupcakes and homemade frosting.
These are chocolate cupcakes with a Kahlua buttercream frosting and sprinkles on top. The chocolate cake is just a Devil's Food box mix--so easy! The frosting is also quick and simple to make and tastes delicious.
The frosting recipe is from the blog Sorelle é Cibo. In the post they share a homemade chocolate cupcake recipe, as well, that looks so yummy. If you have time, I would try making the cupcakes from scratch! As for the frosting, here is what you'll need:

2 Sticks butter (room temperature)
4 - 4 1/2 Cups of confectioners' sugar
6 -7 Tbs. Kahlua
2 Tbs. heavy cream

  1. Beat butter in an electric mixer until smooth, about two minutes.
  2. Slowly add in the confectioners' sugar until smooth.
  3. Mix in the Kahlua on medium speed.
  4. Mix in the heavy cream on medium-high for four minutes until fluffy.
  5. Frost your cooled cupcakes!
And that's it! I will warn you that when you first taste the frosting after being mixed, it tastes a bit boozy. But once the frosting sits for a little while, the alcohol soaks in and is not as strong. Once you've frosted your cupcakes, add some sprinkles or mini chocolate chips as a fun topping. Then, bon appetit!
Enjoy the recipe!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gold Chain

Sweater: Gap (old) | Shorts: Urban Outfitters (similar) | Shoes: Urban Outfitters (old) | Gold Chain Necklace: Ralph Lauren

Last week Drew and I went to this adorable, little movie theatre in Lexington to see Before Midnight. The theatre is quaint and only shows two or three movies at a time. I love seeing movies there. Before Midnight is the third movie of a series about a couple who falls in love and starts a family with complications along the way. Unlike other movies, one scene will go on for about 45 minutes showing the couple talking about their lives. This may seem difficult to sit through, but it's actually intriguing. It feels like you've stepped into the couple's actual lives, not some fictional story (even though it is fictional). Just before seeing the movie we were able to take a few pictures, too! I hope you like!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Instagrammy Sunday

 Walking to the beach.
Dads taking the scooters out for a drive.
Beach day with Catherine!

Despite this week being full of hours at work, I still had time to fit in some fun. My family and I were able to visit our family friends the Ferrins. We've been best friends since Catherine and I were in diapers! We hung out at the beach all day, ate guacamole and ice box cake, courtesy of Kerin Ferrin.  It was so yummy! Then, with the heat wave earlier in the week, I basically mooched off other people's pools. I mean, how else was I supposed to cool down and enjoy the sun?!

I also wanted to share this article, "8 Ways to Love Yourself More" from a blog called The Shine Project. It's an inspiring post all about how to be happy with yourself on a daily basis. Just reading it makes you feel motivated. You should also check out Threads by The Shine Project, an online jewelry and t-shirt shop. All of the items sold are made by college and high school aged youth, many of whom are first generation college students who are using their wages to pay for school. The jewelry and tees are adorable (especially the My Thread and Pixie bracelets), and I love the cause the profit goes toward. Definitely take a look!

Hope you all have a great start to the week!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Her Campus's National Intercollegiate Conference

I just wanted to share this amazing event with all of you reading! Her Campus is holding a National Intercollegiate Conference in New York City on Saturday, July 27th and Sunday, July 28th. The conference will include a number of keynotes, panels and workshops that will help you to make it in the journalism/PR/media world with speakers from Teen Vogue, Glamour, Seventeen, SELF, Lucky, Cosmopolitan and more! All attendees will also receive a fabulous goody bag and get to enjoy little events throughout the conference, including a braid bar, mini manicure, a BCBG sample sale and "Girl Rising" film screening.

Unfortunately I'm not able to attend the event this year, but you should all consider attending! It's a great opportunity for networking and learning a bit more about the fashion and media industries. To register, check out Her Campus's official invitation.
Register ASAP! Spots are selling out fast!

Exfoliating Coffee Scrub

The lovely ladies of Skana, an upscale spa at Turning Stone Resort Casino, sent me this recipe for an all-natural face exfoliant that will keep your skin fresh. Most people are outside a lot during the summer making their skin more vulnerable to sun damage. Here's what Michelle Pino from Skana has to say about skin health:

"Whether lounging by the beach, playing a round of volleyball with your friends or taking a walk in the park, summer is mostly about spending time in the great outdoors. While summer is great for your mood, it’s not so great for your skin. Spending time in the sun is highly damaging for your skin. The UV rays emitted by the sun penetrate deep into the skin, which destroys healthy skin cells and collagen. The result of unprotected sun exposure is a higher risk of skin cancer and unnecessary premature aging. Taking extra good care of your skin during hot summer months is crucial."

Michelle gave me a few tips on taking care of your skin along with this all-natural exfoliating coffee scrub recipe:

  • Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 everyday (3 Tbs for your body and 1 Tbs for your face).
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming.
  • Use a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum, meaning that it guards from UVA and UVB rays.
  • Try staying out of the sun--opt for shade and wear a hat!
  • Moisturize after being out in the sun.
  • Exfoliate at least once a week to remove dead skin. This is where the exfoliating coffee scrub comes in!
This exfoliating coffee scrub recipe is very easy to make and only took about 5 minutes of my time. When I tried the energizing scrub before I went to bed, I immediately noticed a difference in my skin. It was smooth and soft, plus I loved the smell of the coffee! Here are the ingredients for this coffee exfoliant:

1/4 Cup coffee grind -- full of caffeine to boost circulation in the skin.
1/2 Cup aloe vera -- highly moisturizing and helps skin heal from sun damage.
1/2 Cup coconut oil -- improves the quality and appearance of skin by eliminating dead skin cells.

  1. Strain the coffee grinds until they are slightly dry. 
  2. Melt the coconut oil and pour over the coffee grinds. 
  3. Add the aloe and stir it together.
Easy, right?! Then all you have to do is gently massage the scrub in circular motions on your face or other dry skin areas and rinse. This is a great way to get rid of dry skin after being in the sun all day. It will also boost circulation to the applied area and minimize the look of cellulite.

What do you think of this all-natural exfoliant?
Definitely try it out. Your skin will thank you!
Sponsored by Michelle Pino of Skana.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Instagrammy Sunday On Monday

My Throwback Thursday pic from last week. Pretty cool kiddo there, huh? ;)
Watching my brother's baseball game.
 My Dad's Birthday celebration.
The homemade Kahlua Chocolate Cupcakes my Mom and I made for Dad's birthday. Recipe to come!

Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to put up this past week's Instagrammy Sunday post on Sunday. So, here we have it on Monday! I'm sorry for the delay, but I was busy lounging by my friend's pool and seeing Grown Ups 2. Oops! Anyway, this weekend we celebrated my Dad's birthday. We went out to eat at our favorite Chinese food restaurant, Feng Shui, and ate these delicious, homemade Kahlua Chocolate Cupcakes shown above. Don't worry, I'll have the recipe for those up on the blog very soon!
Did you do anything fun this weekend?
Have a wonderful Monday! :)

Don't forget to follow along LIVE on Instagram! IG Name: alsgillette!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fiesta Dress

Dress: Francesca's | Shoes: T.J. Maxx | Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters (similar) | Earrings: (c/o) JoJo Loves You | Polish: Essie Bikini So Teeny

Happy Friday! Today's my Dad's birthday, so I thought it was only appropriate to wear my fiesta dress. This little frock is so comfortable. Every time I wear it I feel like I'm going to a fiesta. I love all of its bright colors! I've also been sporting my new Essie Bikini So Teeny polish lately. It's a light periwinkle color--perfect for summer if you're tired of the usual hot pinks and reds.
What do you think of this fiesta-ready ensemble?
I think I'm ready for this weekend's festivities! :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Berry Smoothie

According to my last recipe post and now this, I've been on a berry kick. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are my favorite fruits. Aside from their sweet and tart taste, they have a high fiber and liquid content allowing you to feel full after eating them. Berries can also prevent a number of diseases and help with weight loss, according to this Huffington Post article.

After my workouts I like to drink this berry smoothie from It's quick and easy to make, tastes delicious and keeps you full for a long period of time. Not to mention, it's only 185 calories and low on fat! Here's what you'll need:

1 Cup frozen berries
1/2 Cup low-fat yogurt (I used Chobani greek vanilla yogurt, but you can use any flavor)
1/2 Cup orange juice or other juice

All you have to do is blend all of the ingredients together for about 30 seconds or until smooth. I use my Magic Bullet and it blends up my smoothie in no time at all. The great thing about this recipe is that you can swap out the different berries, yogurts and juices you want.

What do you think of this smoothie recipe? I'd love to hear which berries, yogurts and juices you choose!

P.S. J.Crew is having a sale every day of the week this week! Today you get an extra 40% off all final sale items! Be sure to check it out!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Instagrammy Sunday

My Gramma's 4th of July flower arrangement. So cute!
 My salmon dinner on the Cape for the 4th of July. Yes, the salmon is wrapped in bacon.
I went on a last-minute trip up to Drew's lake house, and I'm so glad I did. Who wouldn't want to look at this all day?
Lounging on the dock before heading back home. We like reading.
Photo credit: Drew McLoon

I feel like I've been all over the state this week! My family and I spent a couple days at the Cape to visit my grandparents for the Fourth. Even though our time on the Cape was short, we had a great time on the beach and spending time with family. The only disappointment was that it was so foggy we couldn't see the fireworks! Good news is I did get to see some at Drew's lake house. I decided to drive up after work the day after the Fourth. The weather was totally opposite the Cape--sun and clear skies! Overall it was a great week. Now on to the next week of summer!
Did you do anything fun this 4th of July weekend?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Triple Berry Pie

In yesterday's post I promised to show pictures and give the recipe for this homemade Triple Berry Pie. My family and I devoured it last night for the 4th of July. It was the most delicious pie I've ever had (and I'm not a pie-lover so that's saying something). I actually want to make another one right now. That's how good it was!
I found this recipe on Emily Schuman's blog Cupcakes and Cashmere. Emily used a recipe from the blog The Way The Cookie Crumbles. Emily's pie looks absolutely perfect. I think the only thing I need to fix the next time I make this pie is the crust. Mine was not as thick. I love graham cracker crust so maybe I'll add a little more graham cracker crumbs.
Despite the fact that there are many steps to the recipe, it is so worth it. The recipe definitely went a lot faster with the help of another person (a.k.a. Drew) though. Here's what you'll need:

9-11 Full graham crackers (I used pre-crumbled graham crackers)
2 Tbs. + 1/2 Cup Sugar
5 Tbs. Unsalted butter
2 cups (9 oz) fresh raspberries
2 cups (11 oz) fresh blackberries
2 cups (10 oz) fresh blueberries
3 Tbs. Cornstarch
1/8 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbs. Lemon juice
2 Tbs. Red currant jelly
For the full recipe head to The Way The Cookie Crumbles.

Once chilled completely, I served the pie with a touch of whipped cream on top. The pie was so delicious, I'm still wishing I had more. Maybe I'll make another one for the next patriotic holiday...or sooner hehe!
Will you try this Triple Berry Pie?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth!

Sweater: Gap | Shorts: T.J Maxx | Shoes: T.J Maxx

Happy Fourth of July! I finally found this Gap star sweater in my size just in time for the holiday (you know, the one I was convinced I would find back in this post). I love how patriotic it is! Anyway, I'm spending this Fourth of July on the Cape visiting my grandparents. I'm excited to relax on the beach, eat a delicious seafood dinner, watch the fireworks and eat my homemade Triple Berry Pie. Look out for the recipe and pictures tomorrow!
Do you have any special Fourth of July plans?!
Enjoy this happy day!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Stars & Stripes

Stars & Stripes
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Happy July! I can't believe it's almost the Fourth. It's about that time to bring out the red, white and blue. I've been working a lot at the Gap the past few days and am loving all of the patriotic items we have, especially this star sweater. It's lightweight and loose-fitting--perfect for a cool night watching Fourth of July fireworks. I'm still on the hunt for a store that sells my size. If I find it, I plan on wearing it with a pair of red, scalloped shorts like the pair above. These other pieces are also perfect for Fourth of July celebrations, whether you'll be on the beach, at the lake, in the city or staying local.
What do you think of these patriotic pieces?
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