Monday, December 31, 2012

Dear 2013,

Dear 2013,

I just wanted to introduce myself, my name is Michelle, I'm happy to meet you. I am writing you because I am in a pretty good place right now, I finally found a home I like, a haircut I like (hey it has been a long road) and am content with what's going on right now. Your predecessor 2012 was nice to me and I was hoping that you would so kindly do the same. You see, this past year my family was healthy, my friends made it through fine and we had some really happy occasions as well. We are very thankful and really would like for you to be gentle, warm and fun. I hope that is not too much to ask...


Sunday, December 30, 2012

{Freeze Frame}

The temps are dropping day by day here in the Northeast.  With highs of 42 and lows of 28 with a wind chill, it's no wonder most of us are hiding indoors.  So to take my mind off the blustery weather I have been keeping warm and cozy with delicious coffee flavors, some rich dark chocolate and the cutest sweaters. 

My favorite past time- blogging + coffee

Some of the best chocolates we got from New York

My favorite new sweater from Anthro

My new winter fragrance-
I always get compliments when I wear it...
What's keeping you warm and toasty?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Inspiration: Les Miserables

 When I envision the style of the cast of Les Miserables I think of Military inspired pieces, soft billowy blouses and strong colors of red and navy.  And with the winter storm looming, it feels all the more right to be bundled up in a cape, cardigan and boots.  This is my Les Mis inspiration:

1. A long cardigan to wear over your cotton dress 2.  A sweater cape for added warmth  3.  A peasant-like beanie cap  4. A deep hue of red for come hither lips  5. A dark grey metallic bootie    6. A dangerous handcuff like bracelet   7. A plaid scarf to layer
Till next time

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Be Our Guest

So our guest room is finished (finally) and I am happy to say I pretty much got the look I wanted without having to spend a lot. The room is quite small so the best option for a bed that could actually be used was a day bed with a trundle that pulls out so if more than one of our friends stayed - we would actually have somewhere for them to sleep...

So these are some pics of different views of the room.  It's hard to get the whole room in one shot so I just focused on the parts that I really love.  The overall feeling of the room is welcoming and of course we wanted it to be relaxing so we made the bed cozy with lots of pillows. I wanted a little contrast on the window so I opted for a black and white curtain.  The mini chandelier gives it a chic edge while the bird wall decor adds a little interest.

Not bad for Ashley furniture, HomeGoods, Kohls and Target!

Ceiling view with mini chandelier

Curtain with tie back


Pillows from HomeGoods


Bird Wall Decor- this one is cute too

Till next time!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


My husband and I decided to treat ourselves to a mid week Broadway show. Whenever I saw the commercials for the show Once, I found myself humming the songs and wanting to hear them more. 

A love story, about an Irishman with a guitar and a Czech girl with a piano.  Beautiful music, beautiful glad we went. 

If you have the chance, go see Once.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Color of the moment: OXBLOOD

It's not the prettiest name- but certainly a very pretty color.  A rich bold burgundy - perfect for Fall and Winter looks.  Gorgeous in boots, sexy in a dress and striking in a handbag.  This is the color of the moment...

1.  Oxblood and lace dress   2. In Nail Polish  3.  Shiny Oxblood Satchel   4.  Ankle boots  5. In a chunky men's watch  6.  In Designer Plaid
Till next time,

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Crave the dewey glow you see on the red carpet? the gorgeous cheekbones and perfect skin? As a makeup artist there are some absolute must haves needed in the old bag of tricks.  The best way to create a flawless face just takes a few simple steps:

 Step 1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! There is nothing worse than dry flaky skin for foundation to sit on top of.  Not pretty.

 Step 2. Primer: If you are not a fan of your own skin texture or color such as too many little bumps, pimples, (that you are working on of course- but I digress) or you have redness that comes through anything you put on you need to Prime.  It's like setting your skin up to win all the time. A nice silicone based primer will let your foundation glide onto your face. Tip: To conceal redness try a green tinged primer on those spots to counteract the red.

 Step 3. If after your primer you like what you see, then you may need only a little coverage instead of full coverage.  The newest BB creams are perfect for this.  I like Garnier's Nutrioniste BB Cream. It gives you extra hydration, a nice glow and is usually build able without getting cakey.  It also has added vitamins and ingredients that help your skin while giving you a little color and sheer coverage.  One of those glorious two for one deals. However, If you feel you still need more coverage then a regular foundation is key.  Choose one for your skin type- oily girls need more of a matte finish and normal to dry can get away with ones that give a little glow.

 Step 4. Concealer.  My preferred concealer  you can actually find in a drugstore.  Though I never really met a concealer I did not like.  For heavy duty concealing, Laura Mercier makes a great one called Secret Camouflage that you can find at any luxury cosmetic boutique or department store.  I like to conceal after I apply my base.  Only for the fact that when putting on concealer before  foundation you wind up wiping off what you put on.  With concealer last- you can blend a little where you need it such as under the eyes and around the nose (like for those pesky tissue blowing red rings) and on any blemishes that may still peek through your base.

 Step 5. Lastly, highlighter and bronzer for a shimmery glow.  NARS makes a lovely highlighting cream that can double as a blush too.  Lancome's bronzer is just the right shade to contour and givea subtle tint.  I like placing my bronzer in the hollow of my cheeks, across my forehead and chin.  Highlighting cream or powder instantly lifts your cheek bones when you place it right under your temple to halfway under your eye- like the shape of the letter C following your orbital bone.  Down the bridge of the nose helps slenderize it as well.

After these five steps your face will be ready for whatever you want next, mascara and gloss for a natural look or for a more glam look smokey shadows and black liquid liner. Either way I guarantee you will look fabulous and flawless!


Till next time my beautiful friends!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Style Star

What is it with celebs? They make a trip to Whole Foods so chic, a walk through the airport fabulous and a red carpet look effortless.  Sure they have stylists, and make-up artists, hair stylists and much more disposable income.  Well - I guess that all helps.  With that said- they still inspire many and send a lot of us running to the mall.  My faves? Lately I have been loving Jessica Biel and Olivia Palermo.

Jessica Biel (Google)


1. Silky Blouse  2. Lace Detail Dress  3. The cutest Faux Fur Purse  4. Lace Heels  5. Faux Pom Headband  6. Dainty Pearls

Olivia Palermo (Google)


 1. Peplum Blazer  2. Peplum Dress 3. Glitzy Heels  4. Bangles   5. Clutch

Get the Celeb Look!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Heart Bauble Bar

My latest addiction is inexpensive, colorful and easily dresses up any outfit.  BaubleBar is an online and now real life store in NYC where you can shop for fun and affordable accessories.  The necklaces are my fave but their bracelets and earrings are making their way into my heart and jewelry box alike.  If you can't make it to their flagship store on 5th Ave you can still shop the look at

Here's a preview:

Till next time!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Monotone outfits: Closely ranged hues and tone-on-tone ensembles.  Explore different colors like pinks, reds and greens.  Best picks are JCREW for preppy glamorous tones, The GAP and LOFT are your best bets for shopping on a budget.  All have sweaters, buttondowns and trousers in all the complimentary shades you need to recreate the look. As in these 3 ways:


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Take Me Home

Nothing like chic and cozy accents to update your home.  
These brighten up not just your room- but your day. 

Like...a  new chandelier for anywhere...
An unexpected friend at your table...

A gorgeous graphic pillow
to add a little oomph to your room...


Chevron notecards - for dropping a note or an invite and

don't forget a comforting home fragrance-

 the scent of chai tea reminds me of my mom
...just because she loves it.

It doesn't take make you feel at home



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Snow Day

There is something about snow falling that makes you feel like a kid again... (minus the fact that you have to still get up and go to work, warm up and clean your car, watch out for idiot drivers on the road)...ok so maybe now snow is more of a headache than a pleasure. However,  it's also a good reason to bring out the cute hats and gloves and all the other fabulous snow essentials.

And just like falling snow can be so pretty (watching snuggled up from inside your home of course) - getting fashionably dressed and snow ready can be just as pretty too.

1. Mixed Material Gloves  2. A comfy wool coat to run around in  3. Something in velvet 
4. A faux fur snood    5.  Booties to play in  6. A cheeky sweater
Stay snuggled

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Shoe Shame

Priorities, bills, food. These are things we need to set aside the bulk of our paychecks for. So the voice in my head tells me. However, the little voice screaming from my heart is saying entirely different things. LOUBOUTIN, BLAHNIK, CHOO...I know what I should be spending my money on. Why is it such a battle within my heart? And more importantly - why do I suffer the dreaded Shoe Shame? You know - Shoe Shame- that guilty feeling for not only spending an obscene amount of money on shoes that you should not have spent, but (worsethe desire for it. And wondering what others would think if they knew? Would they think I was selfish?  Crazy?  A shopaholic?  (Well...we kind of established that already haven't we?)  Seriously though.  There are some people that are trying to pay their rent, mortgage, insurance, etc... and others are shopping needlessly - frivolously.  It does not feel right or even fair.   And trust me - I am one of the ones who should NOT be spending frivolously. 

So I am being a better person.  A big girl I say, and instead of buying - I am dreaming...and you know what?  I learned that if I stare long and hard enough, I can almost feel the heels on my feet, see them living in their pretty little boxes in my closet.  You know, like how they say you can lose your desire for junk food if you imagine yourself gorging on it?  Yeah it sort of like that.  It kind of works...Because then I think about all the other shoes sitting in my closet, some who have not seen the light of day in months.  So I think to myself...I don't have to have these, they are just going to add to my closet collection.  And the amazing starts to happen.  I start to rethink my desire and I focus my attention elsewhere.  Snap out of it.  There are more important things in life than shoes!!!  And I almost don't feel the need to buy.

(Almost...) I'm really working on it.

Manolo Blahnik Crystal BB Satin Pumps


Jimmy Choo Abel Pump


Christian Louboutin Pluminette
Satin Platform Sandals
P.S. For those who cannot relate to this post, please don't judge.
                     There are shoe addicts all around you.
                             You just don't know it...
                                    Till next time


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Make Me Over

One of the perks of working with cosmetics is getting to know the best of the brands.  The best for your money and the best of the up and coming.  These are goods you want in your medicine cabinets, your nightstands and on your vanities.  If not for function, just for the sheer delight of it.

1.  An instant EYE LIFT  2. BATH Gel yummy enough to eat  3. A Spa retreat for your SKIN  4.  A sexy looking Candle   5.  A funky EYESHADOW palette  6.  Make HIM over 


Stay beautiful

Friday, November 16, 2012


It's amazing to me how the heart functions and heals. Both physically and figuratively.  When you lose someone it feels like waking up in the morning will be impossible. Like your heart is going to explode.   Enjoying your favorite food again, laughing, and smiling all seem like a foreign concept. Undeserved almost...because your loved one cannot share in these things either. You also fear another loss, for now you know the agony that comes with such an enormous loss.  I still shutter to think about it.  You can empathise with someone and imagine how they are feeling, but until you lose someone you love, you truly sympathize with their loss.  And with their grieving.  But as they say, life, for the most part, has to go on for those of us still living. Though mornings feel different- nighttime and sleep are never the same.
And although as years go by you are able to reminisce without falling apart, go to familiar places without feeling crushed at heart, the memory and the loss never leaves you. It's there, everyday, a presence that looms over you.  
   Flashbacks- Dad bopping up and down in the blue ocean waters, my grandfather picking tomatoes out of his garden in our backyard.  The both of them telling stories and laughing over dinner in our kitchen.  It hurts when I snap back to reality and realize they cannot be here with me. To be able to rejoice in the past I have to push through the pain.
The past is a double edged sword, the pain is a necessary evil. For it to go away means you stop thinking of your loved one.  For many of us, that simply cannot be.  And so the heart and mind seem to make a compromise.  The heart and mind shift the pain into something else so the body can cope.....gratefulness.

Grateful for the time given.
Grateful for what we shared.
Grateful for the lessons learned.
Grateful for the memories.
Grateful for where I am from.
Grateful for the love.
Puerto Rican Cookbooks and a mortar & pestle
that belonged to my father.

 Grateful for what once was....and grateful for my future - whatever it holds.
Dedicated to my Dad Louis Serrano and
Grandfather Jose Rodriguez
{Gone but never forgotten}

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Either Or

A fun way to update your wardrobe is to throw in a little splash of color...but maybe the shoes are too much, the purse is not your taste or you can't imagine yourself in a dress that color.
Maybe none of these colors are your "colors"- but you CAN do them in a nail color.  Like this:

Leading Lady                     Armed and Ready                    Trophy Wife
Red Envelope Bag                 Rugged Khaki Boots              Sheer & Teal Blouse
Sparkle either way...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Team Sohl

I normally don't post pictures of my husband for two reasons:

 1. He hates his picture taken.
 2. He doesn't want me too.

And I usually respect that... except for today.  For today we will be married 14 years. I know I don't say it enough because life just passes us by sometimes.  We get so wrapped up in making a living rather than just living.  Sometimes we really need to just stop and breathe.

With that said, he has been and continues to be a great husband, provider and best friend. He accepts me for my (shopping) habits, my undeniable love of New York, my sometimes severe OCD and well- I will just say it... My hormones. (And all I have to say to that is: Thanks for hanging in there! I think only true love would.)

So this post is dedicated to him: (Joey) and 14 years filled with love, laughter and new discoveries...and to hopefully many many more.

Our wedding day
November 8, 1998
Joey circa 2011
With much love

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cuteness Overload

So I know where I will be heading A.S.A.P...  My local Shu Uemura Counter.  If the picture below is not enough to make you go Eeek!!  Just press play.

You can find Shu Uemura here and here

Friday, November 2, 2012

Weathering The Storm

So we made it it's time to rebuild and be thankful for the little things that make us happy.  I was thinking about what I would need if I was limited to buying only a few essentials to make it through the winter and limited my price.  Staples to carry me through another storm, another power outage and a celebration when everything went back to being normal. You really learn to appreciate the basic necessities.  And you realize how spending more than you have to is a luxury that should not be taken lightly.  Many cannot spend now because they are trying to recover what was lost.  Sometimes you have to learn to be content.  And sometimes when you do want something new, it feels good to be frugal, and get a great deal.  You don't have to sacrifice style though if you want to pay less.  You just have to do a little research.  You can always accomplish the look for less.

This is my Winter Essentials List Under $200:

1. A cozy fair isle sweater  2. A great parka  3. A fab pair of  go-to booties  4.  A cool pair of sunnies (the bigger the better) 5. Heels that dress up everything   6. A great carryall
Stay warm friends

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Comfort is...

Comfort is knowing your loved ones are safe.
Comfort is a reassuring hug that everything will be alright.
Comfort is a pet's undying love. 
Comfort is laughter when everything seems at a loss.
Comfort is good food and wine with friends.
Comfort is a peaceful night's sleep.
Comfort is celebrating the little things.

Take comfort

Monday, October 29, 2012

Oh Sandy

So you came... and tore things up...and ruined my weekend because we were busy prepping for the storm instead of out enjoying our time off!  OK. Enough venting.  I will say- I am hoping that everyone and everything in the Tri-State Area is fine.  I am spending my time waiting for the she-devil to rear her ugly head on my laptop, shopping, browsing, pinning...writing...wait- it actually doesn't sound much different than a usual day.  

Anyhoo- I saw a clever picture depicting Hurricane Sandy as Sandy from "Grease" she changed her look and got fiercer and fiercer.  I thought about what the 2012 version of Sandy would be like.  So- this post is inspired by her.   The Sandy we like- not the other one.  (boo.)

1. Killer heels   2. Vegan faux leather shorts  3. Cool shades  4. Tough gloves  5. An edgy belt      6. A scarf for your neck (of course)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dream vs Reality

Image via

I am officially obsessed with the Rag & Bone Newbury Bootie.  Ever since I saw them gracing celeb feet I did my research and they all came back wearing the same style.  The Classic Newbury boot.  Now I've walked past the Rag & Bone store in the West Village hundreds of times- and while my interest was peaked, I never was beckoned to walk in.  Well now- they are all that I look for.  I've got my eye on these boots in particular- but with a $695.00 price tag- I am a little hesitant.  Especially since the style has a little bit of a western flare going on- but it just won me over.  So- I searched high and low for a similar style for less- kind of like a try on before you buy kind of thing.  If I love these- then I will go for the real deals- but for now- I am giving my look for less booties a trial run....I think they are pretty close though- what do you think?

Rag & Bone Newbury boot


Get the look for less BOOT

Not bad right? I think I may need them in black too!

Till next time

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What I Wear (On Instagram)

So I am still fiddling with my second blog Sohl in the City:What We Wear.  It has taken a back seat to other priorities but I still like to revisit it from time to time.  Check out my latest post and join me in showing what people are whereing everyday & everywhere.  Your style.  My Style.  Our Style.

Sohl in the City:What We Wear...



Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting Crafty

So I took a shot at making a jewelry board.  I decided to try it on my own when I saw one in the latest Pottery Barn catalogue for $200.... (really?) 

So- I got a cool pin board, cut up some fabric and pinned up some necklaces...not too bad. And I tacked up the fabric because I wanted the option of changing it up if I felt the need.  Right now it's a  print in a dark green with plum accents.  I thought dark for Fall- in the Spring, I'll go to a light fabric, maybe in a cream or white lace...and change the necklaces too- it will give my board a whole new look.
Check it out....
{Cork Board from Office Depot} 
 {With the tacked fabric} 
{The finished product}
A great way to dress up a room and functional too!
Till next time

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shimmer as far as the eye can see...


Inspiration Shimmer: All things glitter, sequins and shine.  Maybe it's the sunshine, the new season, the fact that I feel better...I don't know.  But I am finding little ways to sneak it into my outfits and into my home.  Not trying to be the crazy glitter lady or anything.  Just trying to add a little extra sparkle in my life...
Image courtesy of Pinterest
Get your glitter on with these:
1. A sequined sweater  2. Glitter nails for anytime 3. A shimmery dress for the weekend  4.  Bling for your ring  5. Sequin eye shadow for when you feel like glistening  6. A little shimmer for the home
Shine on

Monday, October 15, 2012

Riding High

Even though the weather has been confused about what season it is- I am in Fall mode.  My allergies are ready and in need of the cooler temps.  Bring on the cold air, the salted caramel mochas and the boots.  I have resolved that Summer is over so moving on and moving forward.  It's time for skinny jeans, cute jackets and city walking boots.  (I'd just make sure to have a cute tee underneath for when you need to start de-layering)... But no matter what the temperature says- Fall is here.  Bring on the riding boots!

1.  Boots for walking in the rain  2. Classic Boots for under $100   3. Boots on trend - STUDS 
4. Boots in a must have color- GREY 5. Boots for the Tough chick and 6. The Boot in mini version

Get Riding


Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's All About The Bag....

Sometimes what makes an outfit- or at the very least what drives an outfit to come together is the bag.  A statement bag is the best investment to make at the change of the season.  That's a no fail recipe for a great wardrobe - whether it be classic, exotic or edgy.  A bag to wear with jeans and a blazer, a bag to wear with the LBD (Little Black Dress) or the bag to go with your pencil skirt and button down blouse.  Your bag choice will affect how the rest of your look comes together.  Decide what you want to say...carefully....

1. The "School" Bag    2. The "Saddle" Bag    3. The Tote  4. The Exotic Bag  5. The Pop of Color
Make A Statement!