Easy Halloween costumes

If you’re like me, Halloween is for passing out candy to adorable neighborhood children, or perhaps an excuse for a cocktail party with seasonal drinks. Aaand that’s about it. Dressing up went by the wayside in college, when you couldn’t just be a nurse, you had to be a sexy nurse. Or a sexy nun, a sexy firefighter, a sexy kitten, or a sexy hobo. Yes, I once saw a (fake) sexy hobo. San Francisco is a strange place. My point is: who needs dressing up?

This year, however, I will be in NYC and dressing up is apparently mandatory. Because of that, I’ve been been remembering costumes past, and I thought I’d share my three favorite go-to costumes that are cheap and super easy to pull together, no matter where you are, whether dressing up is mandatory or not.

1. Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Do you have a black dress? Some big sunglasses? A few chunky necklaces, pearl or gemstone? Then you’ve got this costume in the bag. Sweep your hair into a quick chignon (shellack it into place if you have to) and top it with a small tiara and some black elbow gloves. Eat a croissant if you feel compelled. Stare longingly into the distance. Done.

2. A Tiffany Box – Same theme, different take. If you have a little sundress (or any kind of dress) anywhere on the spectrum of light blue to a nice teal, then tie on a giant white ribbon headband, add some sparkly jewelry and call it good. That weirdly colored homecoming dress will thank you for wearing it again, and you will look adorable.

3. Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge – I’m sure every brunette has already considered this option, and why shouldn’t you? A dark blue dress (a la the engagement announcement) and a $13 replica of the royal engagement ring are all you need to channel the world’s most fashionable royal.

Friday Scraps

{My polka dot pumpkin. Or something. Swiss cheese, anyone?}

. I’ll definitely be following her!

. Excited that this cool guy came to work last week! My job is fun.

. Shoot!

. A fashion motto I can certainly get behind. (And yes, it’s true. I have a lady crush on our super classy FLOTUS. I admit.)

. Hot!

Young people! I’m off to New York! Since we land at 7 a.m., the first item on the agenda is coffee. That’s a mandatory. After that, I’m just looking forward to a weekend of fun food, Broadway shows, museums, libraries and the glorious city-ness of it all.

Happy weekend, you guys. Make it a good one!

Flight Checklist

I’m not a finicky flyer by any means. I’m small (5′ 2″ on a good day) and I’m bendy enough to curl up in an airplane seat and sleep for at least a little while (thank you, yoga!). In fact, I really like to fly – it’s one of the few places left where you can go where nobody can bother you about work or harass you with texts!

That being said, there are a few necessities I must have in order to enjoy a flight to the fullest. Here’s what I’ll be bringing with me on tonight’s flight to New York:

1. Eye mask. Even if it’s a short flight, the white noise of the plane and the semi-darkness always lulls me to sleep. I love to nap – LOVE it – so an eye mask helps me stay asleep when I inevitably drift off.

2. Chapstick and lotion. My skin gets so dry in the recycled air, I feel like I’m slathering product on the whole flight. Without it, I feel dry and gross.

3. A warm blanket or scarf. I have a giant plaid fleece scarf from Gap last season and it’s the perfect double as a blanket because it’s so big!

4. Peppermint tea. I ask for hot water and pop the teabags in to instantly relax.

5. My nook! It doesn’t replace books by any means, but I read seven books on a trip to London and Paris last year, all on the nook. It’s a lifesaver.

What do you bring on the plane?

Happy Birthday To Me + A Present For You

Hi guys! Today is a wee bit nuts: it’s opening night at this crazy place, I leave for NYC tomorrow, I’m not fully packed (gah!), and today is my birthday. Whirlwind. I am one.

Despite today’s windy, everywhere-but-here feeling, I just wanted to pop in to say bonjour, and thank you for reading! This year has been difficult, wonderful, and interesting enough for me to stick around. I hope you can say the same.

Thank you for being here with me. I appreciate it. And to show my appreciation, I am announcing a little giveaway – a Gourmet Style Girl first!

Any readers who leave an NYC comment this weekend will be entered into a drawing (ie, I will pick a number at random using an app of some sort) and the winner will be announced next Friday. Think a recommendation, a tip, a memory, or anything pertaining to the city that a first-timer might find helpful. The winner will receive something small and adorable from my trip. I don’t know what it is yet, but I do know that it will be awesome and you will be excited to receive it. If this works, then I hope to be doing more giveaways in the future!

You have until Sunday at midnight. Reeeeeady…GO!

XO – Hilary

Bob’s Pumpkin Patch – Updated!

Thank you, inquiring e-mailers! You are nice! Chambray shirt and black jeans are Banana Republic, the boots are Ralph Lauren, the ring is Tiffany, the shades are H&M (total steal at $6!) and the watch is vintage Timex. 

Last weekend, I went down to Half Moon Bay with friends to visit Bob’s Pumpkin Patch. Picking out the perfect pumpkin was the easy part – I’m a decisive lady and when a pumpkin speaks to me, I listen – it was the cheesy senior portrait photo shoot in the patch that was the hard part. I’m off to college you guys! So fun! Right? Right?

Here’s what we learned at the pumpkin patch: It’s totally possible to find your doppelganger in a seasonal gourd, tiny pumpkins are not delicious, and no carving party is complete without a dog. For ambiance, not for carving. You know what I mean.

Many thanks to Bob, wherever he may be, and to my dear friend D for capturing my senior moments.

Central Park Morning

Central Park Morning
I’m going to New York this weekend, and – as uncool and possibly touristy as this is going to sound – I’m so dang excited! I’ve been to the fields of Eastern Africa, the villages of Eastern Europe (only they call them willages in their charmingly accented English), the cafes and museums of France and Italy, and I’ve combed every nook and cranny of my favorite mountains. But I’ve never been to New York. It’s about time, oui?
This Style Set was inspired by what I think I’ll need for an early morning stroll through the park: warm, cozy, soft, and adorable. Isn’t this what every girl wants to be when she’s in New York? Especially that coat from TopShop. Watch out, adorable coat. I’m coming for you! More shopping information below.
Have you been? What do you pack? I’d love your tips and advice! 

Ralph Lauren stacked heel
$1,049 – farfetch.com

Marc by Marc Jacobs vintage handbag
$278 – couture.zappos.com

Fringed shawl
$795 – stylepaste.com

Knit glove
$55 – reissonline.com

Starbucks Coffee Cup
$6 – amazon.com

Friday Scraps

{Bonfire on Ocean Beach}

. More about Le Diner en Blanc from its creator! The event was a blast – I can’t wait to share pictures!

. Litquake is such a gift for a girl who writes. This panel was so inspiring!

. Mason Jar love.

. Loving this subtle, mellow band. Perfect for bittersweet Fall days.

. This website redesign is gorgeous. Duchess Kate approves!

. Goodness she’s getting so skinny! (Please read this in a worrisome, motherly tone, not a tone of envy or congratulations. Because yikes.)

. If anyone wants to buy me bedding, I’d take this!

Happy Friday! As mentioned, I’m off to Yosemite tonight for a weekend of hiking and star gazing and roasting things over an open flame during these fleeting days of Fall. Wherever you go, whatever you do – have an amazing weekend!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

First of all, this beautiful picture of a pumpkin spice latte? This one right here?


Is not mine. If this had been on my kitchen counter this morning, I would be a lot more excited right now.

Confession numero uno.

Confession numero dos is that this recipe didn’t totally work for me. People have been talking it up like crazy, but I found it to be a little too nutmeggy, not enough frothy, and not sweet enough.

Next time, I’ll use a bit less pumpkin pie spice, a little more cinnamon, and I am officially putting a milk frother on my wish list! So few dollars for so much frothy milk magic, I can’t believe I don’t own one already.

Ansel Adams + Yosemite

A match made in heaven.

 {Half Dome}

{Cathedral Peak}

{Yosemite Valley}

I’m heading out to Yosemite tomorrow for the last of the season’s camping trips. I can’t wait to hike in the crisp Fall air, snuggle into my sleeping bag at night, and wake up outside!

What are you doing this weekend?

Perfect Pumpkin Patch Ensemble

Perfect Pumpkin Patch Ensemble



Wouldn’t this outfit be just perfect for a day at the pumpkin patch? Simple, chic and seasonal, with enough tomboy to heft a pumpkin and enough girly glam to look adorable while doing it. Add a sassy ponytail and cuff the jeans to complete the look!

Also, say what you will about Old Navy, but they are the only store where I’ve found pants petite enough for me. Banana Republic petites – fail. J. Crew petites – fail. Old Navy ankle size is both cheap and golden in terms of fit. And that, friends, is a pretty perfect combination.

Old Navy dark wash jeans
$35 – oldnavy.gap.com

ASOS wingtip shoes
$61 – asos.com

H&M plastic shades
$6 – hm.com

A Kiss of Glam Lipstick in Red
$22 – modcloth.com