Vita Brillanti

bella ragazza. bella vita.

Vietnamese Lunch

Outfit: H&M Halter Top (last seen here), Kensie Sandals  on SALE (similar here and here), Cropped Jeans (last seen here), Sunglasses

Do you ever get a craving for a specific food so badly that you can’t sleep at night?

OK, me either, but I came pretty close the other day when I was craving Vietnamese. I had plans to go for dinner on Friday to Saigon Shack, but plans changed and I had to wait until Saturday. Devastating.

I pretty much starved myself all day on Saturday (which just meant no twizzlers on the side of my breakfast) so that I could save enough room in my belly for noodles, spring rolls and more spring rolls. It worked! I had so much room. As mentioned a few times, I’ve been making it a summer goal to try as many new places as possible throughout the city. So far, I’ve been doing pretty good. The newest addition to my “never have I ever” list was Saigon Shack, over in the NYU area, right on Macdougal. We had the most amazing lunch there, everything we ordered was extremely fresh with so much flavor, just a couple of reasons why Vietnamese cuisine is one of my favorites. I also die over their dipping sauces! We had the following dishes:

  • Lemongrass Chicken Bun – Emily
  • Grilled Pork Chop and Shrimp Bun with Spring Rolls – Jordan
  • Summer Rolls Vegetarian – To Share (these were just Ok, I should have just gone with the chicken instead of veggie)
  • Pork Dumplings – To Share, these were out of this world!
  • Thai Iced Team – To Share

It was a pretty warm day outside all weekend, so I wore one of my favorite tops from H&M, last seen here, with some cropped jeans and a matching pair of flip flops (similar here and here). I want to note that I did not go into this day realizing how well my shirt and shoes would match, but I was extremely impressed with myself when I came to this realization. I purchased these Kensie sandals (currently on SALE) a couple weekends ago with my mom, she got the same ones; twinning! I’ve been loving mixing in lots of yellow into my wardrobe this summer!

I can’t wait to see what’s on the menu for my next “never have I ever” food spot!




The OG Polaroid SX 70

Photography is a hobby that both myself and Jordan love. For the past several years photography has been a subject of conversation at least once a day; ways to get better, different techniques we should try, and more.  There is constantly so much to learn, and I want to learn it all!

About a year ago I became fascinated with polaroids, and not the new plastic color-framed polaroids, the original polaroids, the ones we can attribute photography to now (thanks Andy Worhal). There is something about having a physical copy of a photo you just took that is really special. Nowadays, everything is digitized, and unless we go to the store to print out our photos, we never will have physical copies of them like we used to. Remember those awesome disposable cameras that you would take on vacation? I loved developing them and looking through all of the photos with my family. Majority of them were hilarious and unusable, but those are the photos I have in albums now.

I think what I love most about Polaroid’s as well, are the inperfections with the photos; you never really know what you’re going to get when you hit the shutter button, and I love it. Taking a picture with this SX70 is pretty tricky. There are a lot of different variables that come into play before you can hit the shutter button; making sure the focus ring “looks” in focus, take into account the lighting around you, and adjust the exposure accordingly, and even then, it’s a toss up.

For my birthday recently Jordan surprised me with this ‘like new’ original Polaroid  SX70 camera. I was in complete shock, mainly because I didn’t realize these still existed (they don’t make them anymore). I was so exited to start playing around with the camera so we brought it up to the lake house for the 4th of July weekend. The only hard part is that the film packs only come with 8 pieces of film (at 24 bucks a pop) so you have to invest a bit of money if you want to take these photos regularly. I personally think it’s worth it!

We’ve been playing around with the camera a bit, but need to get more film so we can continue to learn how to use it! I’m so excited to have one of these to add to my collection, and have forever! If you have any questions on how to use it, send me a note!


Navigating the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale


Early Access: 7/13 – 7/20 (Card Members ONLY)

Though I’ve been shopping at Nordstrom for a while, last year I finally decided to become a Nordstrom Card Member (like the shopaholic I am) so that I could shop their annual sale early!

Since I’ve been an avid annual sale shopper with Nordstrom, I’ve nailed down a strategy for going into the sale to ensure I make the most of it, without getting into credit card debt. Ha. But really.

Designers are just about finished planning and showcasing new summer styles, because everyone is sadly already starting to gear up for fall. This is an extremely sad reality, but we have to accept it if we’re going to all make the most of this sale! Stay with me people!

That means, within your shopping cart, on top of your summer items, you want to make sure to also have coats, new jeans, a great pair of booties, autum-like bags and sweaters! This is the best time to buy all of those items since after the sale is over, you likely will not be able to find them on sale again, until the season is complete!

Like you, I very much plan to purchase some more summer gear (dresses, skirts, sandals etc.), because we all know July and August are brutal when it comes to the heat – but I need to stock up on fall essentials as well.

My strategy for this sale begins a couple days before the sale actually starts. A couple days before early access sale starts (7/13) I create my wishlist within my account so that I have everything I know I want to purchase, or think I want to purchase, together in once place. My wishlist is always extensive, but that’s okay because I end up removing over half of it. My cart consists of a pretty large variety of items, all in mid and low price ranges. Sometimes I do think it’s worth splurging on specific items, especially if they are on sale. For me, that tends to be black booties & fall jackets.

 Below is a quick look at some types of items my wishlist consists of:

Booties // 1 mid-range black pair & 2 low-range, this one and this one in maroon (also love, this, this, this and this though)
Tall Black Boots // 1 mid-range & 1 low-range (1 high-range just in case I win the lottery over night – ‘hey, ya never know!’)
Fall Jacket // Neutral (also love this one) and a statement (also love this one)
Winter Coat // I have a North Face that I’ve had for years, and is still staying strong, but I really love this coat. It’s now in my wishlist
Denim // cropped, skinny, ankle and wide leg (also love this pair)
Accessories // crossbody and satchel
Summer Dresses // Day to night, and casual (have had my eye on this, and this one)
Transitional Shoes // Suede Sandals, Blush Loafer Mule (higher – priced, but love!), Mule (already on sale!)

Once I have a large variety of items in my wishlist, I go through and figure my ‘needs’ and my ‘wants.’ Natrually, I want it all, but I never need it all, nor have room for it all on my credit or in my closet.  From my wishlist, and my categories of items, I typically will choose one from each. I have a feeling this year I will skip out on the tall black boots, and opt for the transitional shoes instead, since that was something I was missing last year, and wish I had. Also, I think I will wait for a new winter coat too, which leaves me with some great realistic items that I actually need; booties, fall jacket, denim, accessories, summer dresses and transitional shoes.

I hope my strategy was helpful for you! I will be posting my favorites of the sale, in a more detailed post this week!