Friday, March 30, 2012

Life Lately Via Instagram

A real iron.
Birthday tulips, thanks Jenna!
Birthday pampering.
Late night at FIT.

Day date to FAO Schwarz. We are big kids.

Finally got girl scout cookies! Thanks Mom!
Late night patternmaking.
And late night sewing.
First pair of Toms!!

Stroll around Lincoln Center.
Husband decorated the apartment with birthday decorations! And sparkling cider!
More Pinkberry.
I love the original wooden escalators at Macy's.

Dinner in Little Italy.
I love pretty nail polish.
Hand holding on the subway.

I love hand sewing.
I love Anthropologie's new windows.
I love not driving but rather sitting on a subway relaxed after a long day.
and I LOVE my new Steve Madden shoes!!


(find me on Instagram)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fortune Cookie Luck

Husband and I have a special relationship with fortune cookies. Long story short, our fortune cookies always tell us exactly what's going on in our life. It's creepy and comical how correct they are at times. However, husband feels that mine are always a little better than his. I'm starting to believe he is right.

This was mine...


And this was his...


maybe he's right?!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Lifestyle Change

James and I have decided to make a big lifestyle change. No we are not having a baby (not for a long time!!) but we are changing our outlook on food and fitness. We work out, but we don't eat healthy enough. We are learning to not eat food for taste but rather as fuel for our bodies. My friend Danielle that I had guest post recently has really inspired us to go all the way with this. And to add to that motivation, my mom bought James and I a cruise for our birthdays this year (thanks Mom!). We are going on a cruise with a lot of our family this summer and that motivates us to no end.

This isn't something we are taking lightly, so I wanted to blog about it today to share with everyone so we can have support in this change. That means, don't make us cookies, or stock your house with treats when we come to visit. That will only hurt us. And I don't think we are strong enough to turn treats down yet! We are going to extremes and cutting out all desserts, soda, pasta, etc. One of our new favorite meals James makes is a simple chicken with a healthy salad, apples and corn...


We are really excited about the changes we are making and already feel better when we eat really well. I can't wait for us to be in the best shape of my lives! If you have any favorite healthy recipes or work out tips please share them with me below. I would love to hear what you do!

Have a happy (and healthy!) Wednesday!



Monday, March 26, 2012

Central Park Zoo

Husband and I spent the afternoon at Central Park Zoo to celebrate my birthday over the weekend. It was pure perfection. So quaint and sweet. NYC, you made me fall more in love with you once again this weekend.

Central Park Zoo - Taylor Morgan

Central Park Zoo - Entrance

Central Park Zoo - Blossom
Central Park Zoo - Taylor with the Seals, Taylor watching the seals get food.
Central Park Zoo - Penguins
Central Park Zoo - Taylor Morgan back
Dress: Forever21 Purse: Michael Kors

One week left of school then it's spring break.
I. can't. wait!

Happy Monday Friends,


Thank you all for the sweet birthday wishes!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me


After being over a month late, and my poor mother having to spend three full days in labor after her water broke...


I finally decided to enter the world on March 22, 1988 at 1:26 in the afternoon.


I was around 9 pounds and 24 inches long. Big baby!


And at just 6 months old, my mother and Uncle Kurt took me to Disneyland for the first time. I fell in love with Disneyland from day one. I had to include this since we are going in two weeks, it's my favorite place on earth!


Since I am in class all day and night today we are officially celebrating my birthday on Saturday. So everyone have some cake for me and have a great day!

Lots of love,


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Molly's Cupcakes

NYC is known for good food and treats. When tourist come in town they always want to go to a popular cupcake shop, Magnolia Bakery. I never understood the hype about Magnolia's. It's good, but nothing special. Then recently, I came across Molly's Cupcakes and Magnolia's cannot even compare to this place. Molly's is beyond amazing! We picked up these cupcakes for James' birthday last weekend...

Chocolate with cream cheese frosting, Cookie Monster, Cookies-n-Cream, and Boston Cream

At Molly's you can order their center filled cupcakes or build your own cupcake. I like both options. So far my favorite center filled one is the Boston Cream. And my favorite build your own is the chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting. So delicious!


How cute are their chairs at the milk bar? Oh yes, they serve milk with your cupcakes too! How great is that?! You can also sit down and enjoy playing board games while you eat your treats in their game corner. This place has it all!


The best part is, their cupcakes are reasonably priced! Much better pricing than Magnolia, and it's a bigger and better cupcake. Win, win. We may just have to go back here to get some more for my birthday tomorrow. It's a sweets week at the Hartley house when our birthdays roll around!

Be sure to check out Molly's Cupcakes next time you are in the city, and if you live here get over there asap! You won't regret it!

228 bleecker street new york city new york 10014

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bike Riding in Central Park

Shirt: Joe Fresh, Jacket & Necklace: Forever 21, Pants: H&M, Shoes: Miz Mooz, Sunglasses: Gap

For the hub's birthday all he really wanted was time together (sweet request!) and since I have been working non-stop, I took the day to slow down and just be with him. It was heaven sent. We started our day with a yummy home made breakfast, bike riding for a few hours in Central Park (highly recommend it!), dinner at Johnny Rockets and two movies! Nothing good was really playing but we didn't care, we just wanted the "going out to a movie" experience. I am so grateful for this man of mine. He is the sweetest. I love you birthday boy.


Now time to start planning for my birthday on Thursday (which will be celebrated on Saturday). I think Central Park will be in the plans again!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


I have designed Taylor Morgan dresses such as this...


and this...


And planed to make a whole collection of dresses like this after I graduate from FIT next year. I always thought I would only do bridal but I have had a change of heart. Something inside me is telling me to maybe come out with a few dresses like the ones above this fall. I am just ready to start making dresses for women. And I want to start sharing them with all of you. This feels good to me the more I think about it. It's a lot to undertake, but it feels right.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Birthday Boy


Happy Birthday Hubby! Excited to spend the day riding bikes in Central Park followed by dinner and a movie and Molly's Cupcakes to top off the night! I love you!


Mrs. Hartley

Friday, March 16, 2012

Rainy Commute To Work

Wall Street Subway and the Trinity Church in NYC

New York City Subway Commute

Bridal Store, Wedding Atelier on 5th Avenue

School has been working me to the bone, but today I get to go in to work! This is my commute to the bridal store, Wedding Atelier on 5th.

Have a great weekend!


(find me on Instagram!)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Top 5 Tips for getting into Summer Shape!

Hi everyone! I feel MIA the past few days with school. Been working extra hard to have free time for the weekend since it's the hubby's birthday Saturday (so excited!). Today I have such a treat for you! With summer just around the corner I asked my friend Danielle Pascente, a personal trainer who is in amazing shape, to share with us her Top 5 Tips for getting on a healthier path and staying on it! With husband's and my birthday this next week, we have been evaluating what we want to change for us in this new year of our lives and we both want to be healthier and more active. Danielle was sweet enough to not just give us short answers but really help us understand each of her tips so be sure to read through it all. It's really great! With out further adieu meet Danielle...


With summer right around the corner and those spring break plans fast approaching, you may be asking yourself, “How in the world am I going to get into swimsuit shape FAST.” Now of course my first response would be that being fit is a lifestyle change! When you are ready to fully commit yourself to that change….you won’t have to stress out about certain dates or times when you have to be in the best shape of your life. Unfortunately there is no easy three week fix, but there are a few things you can do to help speed up the process and feel svelte for that new bikini or onesie. Here are my TOP 5 quick tips to dialing in on that perfect swimsuit body ASAP!

  1. WATER! This one is simple, yet many people find it very difficult to drink this much water throughout the day. The female daily intake of water should be 2.2 Liters or 9 cups. The male daily intake of water should be 3.0 Liters or 13 cups. Yes, that may seem like a lot of water, but if you can be sure that you are drinking that much a day…it will greatly help with digestion, hydration, and the normal progression of flushing things out of the body. If you aren’t used to drinking this much water, the first few days may be rough. You will feel full, bloated, and have to go to the bathroom a lot. Once your body gets used to it though, you will start to feel slimmer in the waste line.


  2. CARDIO! Up your cardio during these few weeks. If you aren’t a cardio person, then try to find a cardio based class that you like. Ultimately, I recommend 45 minutes a day at least 4-5 days a week. Instead of the average steady state cardio, try to up your intensity level a bit. If you are a treadmill person, try interval walk/jog. 1 minute walking at 4.0 speed on a 2% incline, followed by 2 minutes running at 6.0-8.0 speed on a 1% incline. Repeat this pattern for 30-45 minutes. If you are an elliptical person, try this same pattern but up your resistance for 2 minutes, then bring it back down. So on and so forth for the bike, Stairmaster, or step mill. The most important thing is that you change it up! I want you to get on a different machine then you are used to every other day. If you are constantly changing it up, your body will never get used to that one motion. If you can swim, try an hour in the pool for max calorie burn. Pay attention to your calorie count on the machines. It is NOT always accurate! For max accuracy, you need to be using your whole body during the activity. No holding onto the handles or leaning on the front of the machine, but rather pumping your arms side to side without touching the machine AT ALL. There is nothing wrong with having a light grip on the handles as long as your whole body isn’t leaning on the machine. If you are a handle holder, just subtract 50-100 calories off your final calorie burn.

  3. WEIGHTS! If you want those nice lines and perfect tone for your bikini, and you already have that cardio dialed down---pick up some light weights! I love high intensity interval training and a lot of body weight/light weight exercises. For this purpose, I love to refer people to the Nike Training Club app that you can get on your Iphone or Ipad. They have 20-40 minute weight and cardio workouts that suit every fitness level. If that isn’t enough, they have the actual videos on there to show you what the exercise should look like. Since this is a blog and I cannot be there to show everyone correct form, the NTC app is a great way to incorporate those weights into your regiment. I suggest picking 3 NTC workouts a week in addition to your cardio for max results. Cardio is great, but weights are just as important if not more important! With the high intensity interval training, your body will keep burning all day long and your metabolism will speed up and burn through food faster. If you cannot download the NTC app, try doing light weight/body weight activities. Things such as lunges, squats, bicep curls, tricep kick-backs, push ups, assisted pull ups, dips, etc. If you can easily do a 5lb weight, don’t be afraid to up your weight to 8 – 12 lb dumbbells.


  4. NUTRITION! This subject area is very difficult to cover in a quick tip, but here are the basics. Overall you are going to want to eat lean and light in the coming weeks to slim down. Your diet should consist of a lot of leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein like chicken, fish, egg whites, or beans. Stay away from red meats! You should try to eat carbs in the morning like oatmeal, or a protein/fiber filled cereal like Kashi Go Lean Crunch. Try to eliminate all simple carbs such as sugar, artificial syrups, white rice, white bread, white pasta, potatoes, pastries, and deserts! NONE OF THAT! The complex carbs are the ones you can eat. Things such as whole-wheat pasta, sprouted grain bread, and brown rice. Try to cut back on dairy a bit. If you are a whole milk, cheese, and yogurt person…cut back on just one of those. If you can switch your whole milk to almond milk (vanilla almond breeze is my favorite), then try it! If you can switch from regular yogurt to Greek yogurt…all the better! Greek yogurt is also chalk full of protein so you are getting more nutrients and feeling fuller. My most important tip is to just STAY AWAY from all desserts. The late night snacking can absolutely kill your waistline. Stay away from snack type chips/crackers (bad carbs), and reach for a healthy low calorie salt free rice cake with a tablespoon or less of peanut butter. Appropriate snacks will get you through this slim down period. Calories can absolutely add up just from snacks. Instead of crackers and cheese, M & M’s, Ice cream, etc….reach for these healthy options for mid-day pick me ups! Other things to avoid: Condiments! You can eat all of your calories through dressings and condiments. Stay away from all creamy dressings in general. No mayonnaise, ranch, cesar, dijon, etc. Instead try to replace with a tablespoon of olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. Another option is a tablespoon olive oil with fresh squeezed lemon. It is a super easy way to cut calories. If you like something with your chicken or tuna then I recommend pesto. Pesto is a great substitute mix with a lot of flavor! Salsa is another great low calorie way to dress your salad or chicken.


  5. SLEEP, PATIENCE, CONSISTENCY (SPC). SPC is important to anyone trying to get serious about health, nutrition, and weight loss. I recommend 7-8 hours of sleep per night if not more. Your new workout regiment will leave you a bit more tired than usual, so there shouldn’t be any problem falling asleep. Once you get into bed, try shutting your brain completely off. Start with the hair on your head all the way down to your toenails. Relax every single part of your body and you are sure to fall asleep in 10 minutes or less. Getting enough sleep is imperative to your health and will be a fuel source to your workouts.

    Be patient! You are going through a lot of changes just with these 5 quick tips. Let your body adjust to the changes. Try not to expect results in 5-6 days! It just won’t happen. You have to be patient with the process. Remember that what you are doing is ultimately a positive change, but can take some time. Focus on how you feel as opposed to how you look in the mirror. There is no such thing as QUICK results. You cannot undo a bad diet overnight. You have to create a lifestyle change and trim some of the fat in your life, whether it is diet or workout related. If you commit yourself 100% for three weeks, you will start to see changes. This does not however mean that after the three weeks you can go back to bad diet and lack of workout. Three weeks is just a good mark for you to evaluate how you feel. It’s a decent amount of time to try out the new foods and get rid of the bad foods. The first week or two could be extremely hard, but it will get better! After the three week mark, you can decide if you are ready to make a lifestyle change…and then you can continue on this health path.

    Consistency is ultimately where your success lies. The more consistent you are with this, the better the results will be. I used to cheat 3 days a week on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday. I always said to myself… “But I eat so clean and work out so hard during the week.” The only way I know how to rationalize this is to put it this way: 3 days a week= 12 days a month, which is almost 2 whole weeks out of the month that you are cheating! NO WONDER I WASN’T LOSING WEIGHT! To add to that, I would work out hard during the week when I was eating clean and I would take the weekend days off. Basically when I was going OVER my caloric intake on the weekends, I was also not burning any of that off. If you are going to cheat, make sure one of your hard workout days is the day after you cheat!


Start with these 5 tips, and you will be on track in no time!

To read more tips and recipes from Danielle visit her website at . Danielle does Skype and phone consultations for further questions. For inquiry and rates, you can contact Danielle at Doesn't she look amazing? Thanks Danielle for sharing your tips with us! Who is with me for healthier eating and lifestyle?!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend? What Weekend?

Plain and simple, I had no weekend. I worked non-stop on homework while fighting being sick. I keep waiting for homework to ease up. But it just doesn't. On a positive note I woke up to this beautiful view Saturday morning while babysitting for friends...



Beautiful morning walk to the art supply store.


Stocking up.


Rendering (coloring) figures takes way. to. long. And it consumed way to much of my time this weekend. You wouldn't even believe how many hours I rendered this weekend if I told you.

I am hoping things ease up at school. I feel hopeful things will calm down this week. Please. Hope your weekend was actually a weekend with down time. Can't wait to watch Ben propose to Courtney on The Bachelor tonight and watch her say no. It's going to be great.

Much love,


Friday, March 9, 2012

Life Lately Via Instagram


A rainy but pretty day in the city.

I love to see the Temple.

Lunch outside Trinity Church.

Cute aprons from Anthropologie.


Day date with hubby to Museum of Natural History. One of my favorite things to do in NYC.


De Gennaro Ristorante is my new favorite restaurant in Little Italy. I think I want to go back for my birthday dinner in two weeks!

Gelato in Little Italy for dessert.

Hours of sketching..

Results in pencil all over my hands and face. Husband thought it was hilarious.


For weeks I had this flyer on our frig, excited to meet Brad Goreski.

Then I got stuck in draping and the line closed to meet him. There is the back of him at least!

The draping class that kept me busy.

Cute or ugly H from Anthropologie?! I thought it might be funky and fun for the apartment? Can't decide. Help.


After a stressful 12 hour day with school and work husband surprised me with an apartment full of flowers and candles.

Followed by a yummy shrimp dinner (my fav!) and a chocolate shake. Thanks babe!

Gym time. I love my Nike's!

A needle went right through my skin. Typical.


Only on Wall Street would their bike racks be shaped like money.

Pinkberry in between classes. 13 hours straight at school is a long day and Pinkberry helps!

Dinner at Shake Shack.

Just kickin it with one of my favorite friend's, Henry on Wall Street. Read about our "just kick it" story here.


(find me on Instagram!)

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