Spring Style Inspiration from the Runways

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Spring has arrived! Hallelujah! It has been a bleak, freezing-cold and miserable winter. I am so excited it is finally over and spring has sprung! Admittedly, our city does not seem to have too much of a spring weather-wise, but I’ve read this year will be different. I hope those predictions ring true. I’ve had a folder sitting on my computer for some time now (since last year!) with some style inspirations from the runways of S/S 2015. There are some really easy pieces and others a bit dramatic, but overall, I’m loving the palette and designs.

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{All photos from Style.com}

Lourdes Loves Lately

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{Our city’s annual tradition of dyeing the river green for St. Patrick’s Day}

Happy First Day of Spring, friends! And….TGIF!!! I am so happy to be enjoying more sunshine and warmer weather. It was yet another brutal winter and I hope it is now behind us. How has your week been? I’ve been very busy and looking forward to some much needed rest and relaxation this weekend. I will be taking a candlelight yoga class tonight and really looking forward to it. What are you up to? Have any exciting plans? Here are some things I’ve been grateful for this week. Have a good one!

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{Match-matchy shopping bag, drink and new lip pencil by NYX}

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{Early morning walk by the office}

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{When little girls turn into little ladies}

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{Local bakery getting ready for Easter and Spring}

My Celebrity Neighbor – Kieran Culkin

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I love my neighborhood because it is the central hub of the city due to its proximity to museums, restaurants, theaters, shops and everything in between. So it’s no wonder that my building has a revolving door of short-term celebrities that float in and out for various gigs (movies / TV shows / theater productions / concerts). I have always been a fan of pop culture and am pretty well-versed in the world of celebritydom. I lived in LA for a year (where I was fortunate enough to attend movie premiers and parties) and encountered plenty of celebrities. I can’t really say I get “star-struck,” but it is always a pleasure to encounter someone when I’ve seen them on the big screen before. Fortunately, I’ve never had a bad experience. I thought it might be a fun idea to write about some of my neighbors every now and then. Of course, these are people who are no longer residents.

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{The cast of This is Our Youth: Kieran Culkin, Tavi Gevinson and Michael Cera}

First up is Kieran Culkin (you know, the guy whose brother, McCauley, was the star of one of the greatest movies ever, Home Alone). I first encountered Kieran while I stepped out with my husband. Kieran was waiting in the cab line outside of our building. I recognized him instantly even though the last thing I recalled seeing him in was Igby Goes Down (a movie I am very fond of). It’s so funny how (most) people look exactly the same as you see them onscreen and how, even if you haven’t seen them in over a decade, they still look the same.

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I immediately did a search to see what he was in town for. Turns out, Kieran was in town for This is Our Youth (a play tested here that eventually went on to Broadway). I would see him occasionally on the elevator and once ran into him at our building’s cafe. I said “Hello” and we exchanged small talk about the weather, coffee and such. I never let on that I knew who he was. After all, it’s not unusual to talk to your neighbors:) Here are a few films that Kieran has done.

  • Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
  • Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride II
  • The Mighty
  • She’s All That
  • Music of the Heart
  • The Cider House Rules
  • The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
  • Scott Pilgrim vs the World
  • Iggy Goes Down
  • Fargo
  • Quitters

{All photos via IMDB}

How to Solve Problems in 5 Easy Steps

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I was having a pretty bad start to the week on Monday, but it got progressively better early one. One of the reasons was because I received an award at work for quickly resolving an issue.  I remember when the situation happened (just a couple of weeks ago) and how I resolved it. As it is, I do lots of problem solving so I have a good grasp on how to handle things. Funnily enough, my client (who is a CFO) said “Lourdes, I create problems and I solve problems and what matters most is how you resolve problems.” I think that is so true because we cannot escape life without problems. Problems will always present themselves no matter how great things are going. The important thing is to come up with a solution instead of complaining. Here are a few steps I take to resolve issues:

  1. Identify the problem quickly and own it – No matter what you are doing, whether at work or at home, you are bound to run into issues. Sometimes, it may seem easier to ignore the problem until it gets out of hand, but trust me, the sooner you deal with it, the easier your life will be (well, until the next problem presents itselfJ. Maybe you are throwing a party and the caterer is not going to make it, or maybe you have deliverables to show at work, but you are not ready. Whatever the case, identify the problem quickly and decide what is the most important outcome.
  2. Break down the solution and keep your focus on it – So many times, we tend to get caught up in blaming and focus on the problem instead of the solution. Who can take place of the caterer? Make a list of other restaurants/sources you can contact. How quickly can you get your work project finished? Who do you need to contact to help you? In my case, I jotted down some names and numbers and different processes that needed to be done.
  3. Take action – Now that you have broken down the solutions, start taking action. Make the calls, write the emails and delegate what you can. When I was dealing with my issue, there were many people on board. We all had the same goal – resolve the customer’s issue as quickly as possible. I took action and kept track of the items that needed to be done.
  4. Communicate clearly and often – Make sure you communicate clearly and keep everyone in the loop at all times. If it’s a customer you are dealing with and the issue could take hours (or maybe days, heck even if it’s just minutes) make sure you always keep them in the loop. They do not need to know every little detail, but always let them know you are working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue.
  5. Learn from the mistake – Once you have resolved the issue, take a step back and evaluate it. We are not perfect. We are human beings. Even when we do our best, something can (and usually will) go wrong. The important thing is to take it into account and learn from it. As long as you put your best efforts forward, know that mistakes happen to everyone. And, remember, it’s not the problem that is important, but how you resolve them.

How do you solve problems? Any tips and tricks are welcome in the comment section!

Turning The Billy Bookcase Into The Billy Shoecase

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I’ve always had a fascination with shoes. You know you have an obsession/problem when your friend buys you a book dedicated to such thing.  And, you know you have an obsession/problem when you have to think of storage solutions for such thing. Enter the solution: Ikea Billy bookcases (or any bookcases could work, really).

Living in the city has many advantages, but a few disadvantages as well; the biggest being small living spaces. Of course, I could purge and just keep only a few. Or, I could find clever solutions. I’ve done the former and somehow still have to find clever solutions. After taking stock of my current living situation and thinking about it, I decided that bookcases would be the way to go for two reasons: 1. They are practical and will hold an abundance of shoes. 2. They can be utilized as display cases for the best of the collection.

And, what do you know? There are many people using the Billy bookcase for shoe storage as evidenced in these pictures. Are you shoe-obsessed, too? How do you store your shoes?

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Tuesday Treasures: A New (and Cheap!) Liquid Eyeliner Discovery

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My friend and I were at a makeup store (that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) over the weekend and noticed the cashier’s eye makeup. I loved the way she did it and asked her what type of eyeliner she used. She told me it was “Black Radiance,” a brand I’d never heard of before. She also said she got it from CVS (obvi, not the store we were in). My friend and I were both very enthralled at the perfection of her application. She went on to tell us that it took lots of practice, but she can now do a cat eye in 2 seconds.

She also stated that in regards to mascara and eyeliner, she didn’t feel the difference between expensive and inexpensive brands and it was all about the application. I have to admit, I did try a cheaper eyeliner once (I will not call out the brand, but it cost me $1 or $2). I wasn’t totally impressed, but for the money, I felt it was worth it. I’ve never purchased it again. However, I am going to check out this Black Radiance liquid liner. I could do a whole lotta practicing for the price ($2.99!).

Do you have a preference as far as buying designer or drugstore makeup? Have you noticed differences amongst products?

7 Corned Beef & Cabbage Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

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{My parents and their grandbabies (who are all part Irish) – St. Patrick’s Day weekend 2015}

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends! This is a big holiday in our city with several parades all over the place (including the big one downtown) and many celebrations. Everyone celebrated this past weekend, so there were lots of green, leprechaun hats and four-leaf clovers in wardrobes and interior decorations.

I can’t remember when the tradition started, but my mom started making corned beef and cabbage every year for St. Patrick’s Day. I had an Irish boss once and he informed me that it is not a traditional Irish meal, but one that was born out of necessity due to the potato famine in Ireland. But, we won’t tell my mom that;)

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Do you make/eat corned beef and cabbage? My mom’s recipe is pretty amazing, however, she’s not very good about writing down recipes. I’ll try it out one day and write about it on the blog. For now, I’ve decided to round up some recipes if you’d like to try any or all of them.

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Recipe by Melissa D’Arabian via The Food Network

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Recipe by Alton Brown via The Food Network

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Recipe by Megan O. Steintrager via Epicurios

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Recipe by Laria Tabul via Allrecipes

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Recipe by Len via Food.com

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Recipe by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

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Recipe by Jaden of Steamy Kitchen

Monday Musings: Acting Like the Person You Want to Become

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I overheard a conversation the other day that turned from general TV watching (How to Get Away With Murder was deemed too unrealistic for the law-school student present) to politics. Because, you know, politics (like religion) is always a good idea to discuss. Anyway, one of the comments I heard was “Act like the person you want to become.” Just so you have context of the conversation, this was in relation to someone’s friend who wanted to get into politics and how your entire life history is investigated when you do that.

I’ve heard/read this phrase before and in many different iterations (e.g. “Dress for the job you want and not the job you have.”). It is great advice, but one that can often be overlooked or forgotten.  I believe it to be true in any context. Maybe you are happy and content with your job/life and do not want to change anything. That’s ok, too. But, for those of us who are looking for something different or looking to improve our current situations/better ourselves, then it’s advice that should be practiced often.

What do you think? Is this something you practice or believe in?

{top graphic via here}

Valentino’s Vintage Vibes

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Valentino came out with a psychedelic design for their Resort ’15 collection that was inspired by their 1973 runway collection. ’70s style is actually trending everywhere and I like it. Every decade’s style seems to come back every couple of decades or so, it seems. I don’t mind, so long as there’s a new twist to it. This design looks refreshingly modern without losing it’s vintage vibes. I love the rainbow of colors and geometric design as well as the materials used, like the plexiglass. I think they did a great job incorporating the vintage and modern collections, such as with the Rockstud shoes and bags. My favorites are the cuff and chain bag. What do you think of the collection? Would you wear it?

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{All photos via net-a-porter.com}

Two Cute Pastel Shoes That Are Too Cute

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Marc by Marc Jacobs “Punk Mouse” Ballerina Flats

I don’t have a lot of pastels in my wardrobe, but I do love pastel colors in anything. There is something so sweet and playful about them. Now that Spring is coming, I am starting to see them pop up all over the place, especially since Easter is right around the corner (dare I mention pastel M&Ms?). I love Marc Jacobs’ ballerina mouse flats and am really feeling this pink pastel “Punk Mouse” version. I like the juxtaposition of the sweet color paired with the studs (we see what you did there, Marc;). I am also really loving Rebecca Minkoff’s pastel blue jelly sandals. They look super comfy and stylish. I will have to find my way to a store soon and try these on. Do you wear pastels?

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Rebecca Minkoff Sava T Strap Jelly Sandals