3 states, 2 tours, 1 day.

So as everyone can see from my last post, Matt and I had high hopes to see the botanical gardens this weekend. We got a good night’s sleep on Friday and planned to start our day early on Saturday. So we woke up early only to have our hopes and dreams crushed; there was a craft fair at the gardens. That could have been fun, but we weren’t really feeling it so we had to find other plans. Somehow we ended up flip flopping between Greenwich, CT and Sleepy Hollow, NY. Matt & I are both huge fans of scary movies and, personally, Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorites! However, we figured that was kind of more of a Fall spot to explore, so we went with Greenwich. (WHICH, just a side note: should be pronounced “Green-which” it sincerely bothers me that it doesn’t, but that’s just me). Onward. Luckily Greenwich really isn’t that far from us, so we stopped at Dunkin and set off on our little mini road trip. Within an hour and a half we arrived on Arch Street and I immediately fell in love. Arch Street is like a beautiful out door Short Hills Mall, and it’s fabulous. So we did a little shopping…. and by we I mean me of course. We had lunch at a waterfront restaurant, L’escale. To be honest, I wouldn’t suggest it. It’s intensely fancy schmancy and the food is eh at best. We were delirious with hunger so we stopped there. Had we had more time to make a better decision we would have gone elsewhere. Here are a couple pictures from lunch, and also, Matt’s first appearance on the blog! Hi hubbs.

So, after lunch we hit the road to head home and we decided it’s still early enough, why not stop at Sleepy Hollow? It’s on the way home. So we did. When we found Sleepy Hollow we thought we saw the infamous covered bridge that the headless horsemen used to attack his victims (we later discovered that bridge no longer stands). So we were like, awesome! Let’s get out and do the tour. Upon signing up for that tour, we realized we were able to take the tour of Kykuit as well! Which is the Rockefeller mansion in Westchester. So we take the first tour of “Sleepy Hollow” all pumped to hear scary stories about the Headless Horsemen……. not. one. story. They didn’t even mention the words “headless” or “horsemen.” It was all about the owners of this plantation and their slaves. Which, sure, that’s interesting, but I was in the mood for some real life ghost stories! Not a demo of how to churn butter. The most interesting thing that happened on this tour was almost becoming lunch for a pack of wandering sheep. *exciting*

 So after this tour we headed over to Kykuit, which was absolutely breath-taking! The ride up the driveway alone took about 2 minutes… insane right? Here are some of my favorite pictures from the tour below!

Between my phone (which all of these were taken on) and our actual camera I have about 200-300 pictures from the house, including authentic Andy Warhol prints of Nelson and Happy Rockefeller. You really weren’t supposed to take pictures inside the house, but our tour guide was literally pushing 100 and I don’t think she seemed to notice. So if you want to see more you can view them here: http://bit.ly/qVEbvU

This house even had a “play house” which included 2 pools; one indoors and one out (one of which is Olympic size). Two tennis courts; one indoors and one out. A basketball court.. you get the picture. If you’re ever in NY and have some spare time, definitely take a trip out there to see this place, it’s totally worth it. And, between you and me, try to avoid getting Rosalie as a guide… she’s sweet as pie, but the tour will take FOREVER. If you’re like me and you’re more interested in the visual over the history, it can be a bit painful to sit through.

 

To read more about Kykuit http://www.hudsonvalley.org/content/view/12/42/

It’s Friday, Friday, Friday!

Sorry to quote the so un-inspiring Rebecca Black… but really, what better way is there to express our love and excitement for Friday? Even better when it’s half day Friday! So I’ll be signing out early today and heading straight to my pool to be a waste for the rest of the afternoon and safely bake my skin. It’s August and my tan is embarrassing. ::bbm hand over eyes face:: No big plans for this weekend but I’m hoping tomorrow the weather holds up so Matt and I can actually visit NJ’s botanical gardens! Our plans seem to get ruined every weekend so I have my fingers crossed this weekend. Hopefully I’ll have some pretty pictures to share with you guys next week. Til then, stay cool, see ya laaaater. :-*

I want her job!

So I follow this blog [Tiny Buddha] and it’s simply amazing. Filled with uplifting posts on how to cope with real life complications; awful relationships, bad friends, loss, anger. You name it, they’re coping with it. It’s great, everyone should check it out, but that’s not the point of this post. I saw an advertisement on their blog for this website called Iwantherjob.com and naturally I clicked on the link. I loved what I saw. It was an entire website 100% dedicated to every day women who loved their jobs. What most attracted me to this site was that these weren’t like A-List celebrity women just bragging about doing nothing and making millions of dollars doing it; they were real life women with normal jobs that they just really loved. After reading several interviews I noticed there was a tab at the top of the page that said “become a leading lady” and I was like hmmm…. I love my job… I want to be a leading lady! So I took a small leap of faith and sent the creator an e-mail. This is what I said:

My name is Rachel Ross and I am writing for a chance to be featured on your blog. I have a very important reason for wanting to be featured here; my job seems very unimportant, my company is very small, and I cannot get enough of it. I was unemployed for a long time (I’m only 23, but I had worked every day of my life as soon as I was old enough, being as my parents both owned their own businesses. One being a karate school and the other a small chain of Italian ice stores). When I graduated college I quit my part time job as a salon receptionist, mostly because my boss had Ari Gold syndrome. I was getting married in August so I just stopped working all together to be my own full-time wedding planner. After the honeymoon was over (literally) I had gotten so used to being unemployed that I lost all motivation to actually do something with my college degree. Months had gone by and the excuses as to why I wasn’t looking for a job started to get worse and worse…my husband had eventually had enough. I started searching for the right company to work for. I had this idea that I wanted to do something really great and work for an amazing company in the city. I had interviews with Fashion designers and Music producers, but nothing seemed to work. I submitted a resume to this small company called Lindsay Phillips somewhere in the midst of all the resume submitting. Lindsay Phillips herself is a 26 year old Florida native who started designing shoes when she was in high school. To be honest, I had sent out so many resumes I had completely forgotten all about this company. A few days before my birthday I found out that the job I was most interested in had fallen through; I was one of the top 3 contenders but didn’t make the cut. I was devastated. I had already started planning my morning commutes, spending every penny I had left on “work appropriate” outfits, even day dreaming what my co-workers would be like. To get a letter in the mail that says thanks, but no thanks, really sucked all the wind out of my self-confident sails. Christmas and New Years came and went and I was still unemployed. I was sitting on my couch crying to a Lifetime show when my cell phone rang and the woman on the other end of the line introduced herself as “Shelli, from Lindsay Phillips!” My heart dropped. To think, I almost let this call go to voicemail because I was crying so hard watching “One Born Every Minute.” I came in for a series of interviews with just about everyone who worked there and within two weeks I had a full-time job. The girl who I was replacing was supposed to train me, and just my luck, never actually came back. The position I hold is mainly “web representative” or “web customer service.” It’s a one person gig, and I was thrown into the middle of it blind. I had to train myself with help here and there from other coworkers who knew some of what my position entailed. After a month or two I was finally able to take the training wheels off and stop playing catch up and really make my presence known at this company. One of the main things we are trying to do is expand ourselves through social media, and that is where I really come in. The day Facebook opened up to anyone in or out of college, I had one. The day I learned about Twitter, I made one. I was a self-proclaimed Social Media guru. In the short months that I have been working for this company, I have nearly doubled the amount of twitter followers we have and grown our Facebook fans by over 4,000, and those numbers continue to grow every day. I have been able to put my own voice and creative ideas to work to attract people to our company. I get to do fun things like to go events we co-host and do live tweeting and Facebook posting as well as keep up with our blog and Youtube page. Holding this position has given me so much more knowledge about Social Media, and the fashion industry as a whole. There is about 20 people who work for this company, and 90% of them are women between the ages of 23-40. (There’s literally only 4 men what work here!) It’s an amazing company to work for. Over the past month or two, I’ve gone from web customer service to a social media strategist. I know that you’re very selective about the women you choose to be featured, and I know that being a social media strategist isn’t exactly the most glamorous job of them all, but I truly do love what I do. I think it would be fun to be featured on this blog for young women soul searching right out of college to know what options are really out there. It is a tough pill to swallow when 9 out of 10 companies shut you down. On the other hand, it’s a really special gift when that 10th company gives you a chance, and it ends up being the perfect fit for you!

It’s pretty cheesy but she loved my pitch so much she e-mailed me back within days saying she would love to feature me. I was very excited then and even more excited when she e-mailed me yesterday to tell me my interview went live. So check it out babes! Here’s my interview with Brianne Burrowes from I Want Her Job!

PS – Brianne is pretty amazing herself and she’s also featured on the site so everyone should check it out. Maybe you’ll end up on there too!

Not your average workday… makeup.

Every beauty blog or article I read always expresses the danger of wearing too much makeup. Either play up the lips or the eyes, but never, EVER both, they say. When I hear things like that I think… who would ever choose to play up the lips instead of the eyes? In my world, the eyes are the best canvas! There are so many amazing color combinations to play with you can literally do something different every day. Well, I might be a little bias because I sincerely hate my tiny, barely there lips, but whatever, not the point. I am fortunate enough to work for a company with a very casual dress code so we don’t look silly when we come into work with sun dresses and fun makeup on. Had I worked in a stuffy office building, I’d be sticking to the neutral smoky eye and nude lip gloss every day, but that’s not the case here.

Today I’m sporting my favorite combination… it’s sort of a smoky eye but with much more color. My favorite thing about this look is that it can easily be a day or night look. For the day time, I use everything in moderation but for a going out look I vamp it up by wetting the tip of my eye shadow brush to make the shadow into almost a paste. It goes on much heavier and last longer too. And I may be guilty of adding some false eye lashes from time to time.

  [Day]                             

[Night]

For both looks I start by using Too Faced Heaven eye shadow (part of the natural smoky eye kit) and apply it all over my lid. Next I use the dark side of Too Faced Skinny Dip to work in the creases, followed by combining both sides and applying it to my whole lid below the crease. For the pop of green I combine the light and dark sides of Too Faced Lucky Charms and work it in the inside corners of my eyes. I finish the day look with a little Maybelline Define-A-Lash liner on the upper lash line and polish off the look with Maybelline Falsies mascara (my personal fav!) For the night time look I might smudge a little of the green and blue along my lower lash line and line my bottom lashes with the Maybelline liner. I tend to use a liquid liner for my upper lash line winging it out just a little at the corners and top it off with real false lashes. And voilà! A ready-to-go eye shadow masterpiece. To pull the look together I always add a little blush before I walk out the door. For day, my go-to blush for any look is Gina by Nars. It’s an amazing neutral tangerine color that, in my opinion, looks great with any complexion. For night, it’s Radiance by Smashbox. This color is, for lack of better terms, hott pink so I only use a little and make sure it’s very well blended or else I end up looking like a 3 year old that got into mommie’s makeup.

So this look is easy enough right? If you’re feeling crazy give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

Make a Wish

I’m sure everyone is well aware of this company by now, Dogeared. They make the most amazing jewelry at very affordable prices. I first discovered these necklaces at a store down by where I grew up called Sunsations. When I was in high school I would make frequent trips to this store and literally buy a different necklace every time I went in there. I had the infamous karma necklace, and several wish necklaces. Each necklace has a theme, or a purpose, and you’re supposed to make a wish, put the necklace on and wear it til the string breaks, at which time, your wish is supposed to come true. (Some of them are string, others are much more durable and not meant to be broken!) Now, I’m not the most superstitious person in the world and I didn’t honestly believe if I wore a necklace til it broke some crazy wish would come true… until it actually happened. I had the most beautiful necklace which was a very thin blue string with a bright blue crystal hanging from it, which has since been discontinued. I made a wish, wrapped it around my neck, and didn’t take it off for over a year. To be honest, as the year passed I completely forgot the purpose of the necklace, I had just fallen in love with the way it looked. Obviously, I can’t say what my wish was, but it was a serious wish. And I swear on my mother’s life, that a week after my necklace broke my wish started coming true. At first I was just devastated because it had become my favorite necklace and I had no faith in these wishes at all. But then little things started to happen to give me the impression that this wish might actually come true. And what do you know? It did. It really freakin’ did. Now it could be some crazy cosmic coincidence, but I’m just going to say it was the necklace. I haven’t put on another wish necklace since, but I’m still madly in love with Dogeared and all of their fabulous jewelry.

I went back to their website today to check it out because my Karma necklace (not a wish necklace) broke recently and I wanted to get it replaced. I stumbled upon a bridal section and discovered the most amazing thing… one year too late. You can customize necklaces for your bridal party! This gift would have been right up my alley and the best part is, even they’re affordable! I created one just to see what the process was like and it only came out to $29.99. I die. Sorry girls, but if I had seen this last year your gifts would have been way cooler and much more personal. Maybe Christmas presents? Who knows. But I have to fight myself not to make one now! But for everyone else, check out the site. Even if you’re not getting married any time soon, it is such a cute idea to customize your own necklace for yourself! We deserve little gifts every now and then, don’t we?

http://bit.ly/dogearedbridal 

Random Facts about The Rachel Ross

1. I HATE HATE HATE washing my hands. I do it… but I hate it! I hate wet, cold hands.

2. I have 8 tattoos and 9 piercings, but I always want more.

3. I have double jointed fingers. My thumbs especially.

4. I had to learn karate as soon as I could walk. If you know my parents, it makes sense.

5. I joke about wanting to be a reality TV star… but I’m secretly dead serious about it.

6. I have no sense of direction. To get anywhere I feel like I have to pass my house to know where I’m going.

7. As we all already know, I am team Jen, fo’ life. And also team Coco.

8. I had never had strep throat, poison ivy, or had been stung by a bee until this year. And then all 3 happened to me.

9. I cannot stand those Jennifer Hudson commercials.

10. I can count my real honest-to-goodness friends on one hand and probably still have some fingers left over. As I think everyone can if they really sat down and thought about it.

11. I have a horrible time letting go of anything.

12. I get skeeved out by my self if I don’t have a fresh manicure or pedicure.

13. My favorite nail polish is Fiji by Essie.

14. My favorite animal is an elephant. And it’s also one of my tattoos.

15. I want to ride an elephant one day. It’s without a doubt on my bucket list.

16. I went sky diving for my friends 18th birthday and she made me jump out of the plane first.

17. I’ve convinced myself that if I eat mushrooms I’ll get sick. No idea if that’s true or not.

18. I’m not spoiled… just very, very loved by a very hard working, loving man. 🙂 And I love him dearly.

19. For my wedding, I didn’t have anything old or blue.

20. My favorite author is Stephen King but my favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird.

21. My favorite color is a mix of green and blue.

22. Everyone used to make fun of me for being addicted to Facebook. They called it “RachFaceBook.” Well now it’s my job. So bite me.

23. In the past year I have become my own version of a New Jersey Housewife. I’m a New Jersey Apartmentwife.

24. I’m addicted to shoes, jewelry, handbags, dresses, jeans, fun tops, shoes, jewelry, handbags…. oh wait…

25. Anyone who still uses their middle name on Facebook can expect to be deleted from my list of friends within the next month. Do you know how many Lisa Anne’s I know?

26. Men who get plastic surgery really freak me out.

27. I consider my cat, The Dude, my first born. Sorry kids.

28. I had to teach my 1 year old Golden Retriever how to swim because he was afraid of the pool. It was like giving swim lessons to a toddler at a beach club.

29. I am truly, truly happy.

30. I become obsessed with things easily, Michael Flynn style. For now, it’s Barbie.


Wilde over Olivia.

I’m not entirely sure where she came from or when she first appeared on the scene, but Olivia Wilde has made a huge splash in such a short period of time. I didn’t give her much thought until I saw her at the Golden Globes in that amazing floor sweeping chocolate Marchesa gown. She is simply stunning and I will admit, I have added her to the list of my girl crushes. When I walked past the magazine racks at King’s during my usual post work grocery shopping trip and saw her on the cover of Marie Claire I was delighted. The spread they did on her was amazing and she looked breath taking in every single image. I’ve picked this one as my favorite because I am a HUGE fan of behind-the-scenes footage of pretty much anything. The more I read on Olivia, the more I love her. If she wasn’t famous, or the fact that she was recently divorced from a prince, literally, you would genuinely think she was just another average jane doe. She is one of those people you find yourself wondering what it would be like to sit down and have a glass of wine with. I wouldn’t mind having the added advantage of being able to borrow her clothes either.