Back to Basics

Back to Basics | The Pace Back to Basics | The PaceBack to Basics | The PaceBack to Basics | The PaceBack to Basics | The Pace

Here I am—back to America and the basics of life here. No more gallivanting off to another country for the weekend or casually passing the Colosseum on a run. I obviously miss Rome and everything I did during my semester abroad, but I am also a big fan of routines, so I am enjoying getting back into one here. I refuse to believe that the “basics” of everyday life are boring—every day is a new opportunity for joy, happiness, love, and adventure.

Just like the basics of life are exciting, so are the basics of style. If you look in my closet, you will notice it is overwhelmingly black and white, the two most basic colors. But black and white are the opposite of boring—they are exciting and provide opportunity to create so many different looks.

So with my black and white closest and my post-study abroad lifestyle, I am looking forward to the adventure, thrills, and entertainment that this life has to bring me. Who’s with me?



White Sleeveless Top (Similar)/Forever 21 High-Waisted Shorts

Throw Caution to the Wind

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Taking a risk is scary. There is no doubt about it. Gathering your reservations, worries, and cautious anxieties into a bundle and throwing it into the wind, knowing you can’t get it back, is never easy. But in many circumstances, it’s worth it. I’m not talking about risks like standing in the middle of train tracks (don’t worry, we kept an alert eye on both sides at all times during this shoot!!) or wearing high heels during an ice storm. The risks that are worth taking are the ones force us out of our daily routine and comfort zone. They introduce us to new places, new people, and new ways of viewing the world. These risks bring out parts of ourselves that we never knew existed, because we haven’t needed them yet.

Being a risk-taker doesn’t mean you live a risky life; it means you weigh the opportunity for growth and excitement as being more important than fear. This is the mindset I am adopting as I prepare to take on my newest risk: studying abroad in Rome. I have never been out of the United States, so just the idea of an overseas flight is enough to give me butterflies! Add to that a new city, a new language, a new apartment, new classes, and a new internship, and this experience definitely qualifies as somewhat terrifying. Everyday, I am feeling more and more ready to take on this risk, but for now, I’ll just stand in the middle of these train tracks (freezing my buns off!) in this amazing hat and cardigan from Forever 21. Come on, people…Rome wasn’t built in a day 😉

I would love any packing or studying abroad tips, as well as recommendations for places to go in Rome! Feel free to share your knowledge with me!



Forever 21 Hat/Forever 21 Cardigan/Pac Sun Tee/American Eagle Jeans/Boots

10 Questions: About Me

About Me | The Pace

[outfit post]

I was nominated by Britney Turner of HerStyle Media to complete the 10 Random Questions Tag. Read on to get to know me a little better!

1. What’s your favorite winter trend?

Camel and black from Damsel in Dior

Jacey Duprie of Damsel in Dior

Camel and black. It’s effortlessly chic and I am obsessed! Any look that can be achieved with closet staples is a winner in my book! I’m especially in love with the Jacey Duprie from Damsel in Dior rocks this killer color combo!

2. Sephora, Ulta, or M.A.C.?

Sephora. I could literally live in there.

3. Starbucks or small, cozy cafe?

I am a big Sbux fan, but definitely a small, cozy cafe. I prefer the genuine, intimate feel to the fast-paced atmosphere of Starbucks.

4. One meal you can eat for weeks?

Salad. It’s an obsession.

5. iPhone or Android?


6. 60’s Glam or 90’s Grunge?


Photo via

Definitely 90’s Grunge. Not only am I a big fan of Converse and plaid, but Nirvana and Pearl Jam are two of my favorite bands of all time (this poster hung in my freshman and sophomore college dorms!)

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Happy 🙂

8. Chicago, New York City, or Los Angeles?

Considering that it is 3 degrees outside as I write this, I would love some warm weather. Hello, L.A.!

9. #1 Goal in 2015?


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Travel. I have never been out of the United States, but at the end of this month, will be starting an incredible journey to Rome, where I will be interning and studying for the semester. I hope to travel around Italy and Europe and can’t even begin to explain my excitement!!

10. What’s one reason you chose to start blogging?

love reading blogs and one day, I had the realization that I can do it too! So I created a folder in my Documents called “If I Started a Blog…” Soon, I changed the name of that folder to “The Pace” and here I am!

Now…it’s my turn to pass on the Random Question torch! I nominate Vanessa Gatlin from A City Girl’s Guide to Life, Areta Chen from Areta’s Style Secrets, Rebecca Pytell from Strength and Sunshine, Ayla from MaracujaSpirit, and Kristyn Royster from Primp & Proper.

My Questions

1. Chocolate or vanilla?

2. Favorite way to break a sweat?

3. Current Netflix binge?

4. If you could babysit any baby animal for a day, which would it be?

5. New Girl or Gossip Girl?

6. If you could be the personal assistant to anyone, who would it be?

7. What do you never leave your home/apartment/dorm without?

8. Would you rather own a private yacht or a private jet?

9. What is something you love about yourself?

10. What is one thing you are working to make better?

Be sure to link back to this post, create 10 new questions of your own, and then nominate 5 more bloggers to participate in the tag! 



Live in Color

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The Christmas decorations are put away and the New Year’s sequins are back in the closet, but I refuse to believe the fun is over. The end of the holiday season does not mean we must surrender to dull colors (and attitudes). Trust me, I love neutrals just as much as the next girl, but this month is all about fresh starts, and nothing says fresh to me like a pop of color.

This dress from Target is the perfect way to break up your winter neutrals. The color palette is warm enough for winter and pairs beautifully with dark tights, but when the weather (eventually) starts warming up, I can definitely see this lil’ baby looking lovely among blooming flowers. Unfortunately, this pattern isn’t available online (I bought it in store a few days ago, so I’m sure it’s still there!), but both patterns online are just as cute!

How are you bringing color to your life this season?



Target Dress/Booties (old-similar)/Urban Outfitters Bag (old-similar)/NYC Lip in “Sugar Plum”

Get a Clue

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Maybe it’s just me, but this trench coat makes me feel like I should be doing some major sleuthing. When I was a kid, I used to put on my robe detective coat whenever I lost something and carry out a full-on investigation until it was found. I guess I’ve just always had a touch of Sherlock in me 😉

On a more practical note, this coat is amazing. It is water repellant and has a removable liner, which makes it extremely versatile for many kinds of weather. Word to the wise, these coats run on the larger side so if you are in between sizes, order a size down (for reference, I am wearing an XS)!

Hope you all had fabulous New Year’s celebrations and are enjoying a wonderful start to 2015!

Calvin Klein Trench Coat/Coach Tote/Scarf (crotcheted by my lovely mother!)/American Eagle Jeans

New Year’s Edge

New Year's EdgeNew Year's EdgeNew Year's EdgeNew Year's EdgeHappy New Year! Can you believe it’s almost 2015?! 2014 has been such an incredible year, filled with so many opportunities, blessings, new experiences, and joy. Remembering all that has happened over this past year gets me so excited about the possibilities that lie ahead in the next 365 days. New Year’s Eve is a celebration of the past year, but at the same time, a party that toasts to new beginnings and resolutions. This outfit is my way of doing both. I celebrate 2014 dressed in black, my favorite color of the year (and the year before, and the year before…) and with a red lip, the trend I finally adopted this year and totally fell in love with. With my favorite leather jacket and heels, I step into the new year with a strong, fearless attitudeready to be bold, go against the grain, and take on new challenges. Watch out 2015, I’m comin’ for ya!

I hope your New Year’s celebrations are a blastfull of laughs, memories, and fun. Stay safe, and I will see you in 2015! 🙂

Black Lace Tee (similar)/ Forever 21 Faux Leather Jacket (similar)/American Eagle Jeans/Sequin Clutch (similar)/Forever 21 Black Pumps (similar)

Easy Holiday Beauty Look

Christmas is finally here, and I couldn’t be more excited! My plans for this holiday look a little bit like this…family, food, drinks, and repeat. Oh, and all to the tune of my favorite Christmas music (that has been playing since Thanksgiving!)

The holidays are a time for family and thankfulness, not a time to spend hours in front of the mirror. That’s why having an easy holiday beauty routine is key. Today, I am sharing a simple and festive beauty look perfect for all of your holiday events.


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I started with my usual layer of powder foundation. For the eyes, I applied a gold shimmery shadow to my whole lid, used a white shimmery shadow under the brow and on the corners of my eyes, and used a silver shadow for the eye crease.

Next, I used Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kahal Eyeliner. I am obsessed with this eyeliner. It glides on effortlessly and looks fantastic. Plus, a waterproof eyeliner is longer-lasting than other liners, which is perfect for days filled with holiday events.

I applied two coats of mascara (because lashes are a girls best friend 😉 ) and brushed a cranberry blush on my cheeks.

For the lip, I used NYC’s Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum. Let’s talk about this lipstick for sec…first of all, it smells amazing. Second, I am in love with the color. It makes the perfect subtle statement. Third, it’s only $1.99 (Merry Christmas!)

To finish off the look, I used EcoTools Sleek and Shine Finisher Hair Brush to brush my hair into a simple ponytail. This took about 10 seconds and left my hair feeling silky and smooth.

 I’d love to know what your holiday beauty looks are this year! Share them with me below!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Holiday: Merry Little Black Dress

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Reason #762 that I love the holidays…they are a reason to dress up! With dinners, parties, and other gatherings, the holiday season is full of occasions to make your outfit as festive as the spirit in the air!

Dressing up for the holidays doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money on new clothing; you probably have everything you need for a perfect holiday outfit in your own closet! For this look, I started with one of my (many) black dresses and then added a green scarf and red lip to achieve the holiday look!

So, get creative! Break out your glitter and sparkles, red and green, and silver and gold. And don’t forget the most important part of your look…a smile! After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year! 🙂


What are your holiday plans this year?

Dress (similar)/H&M Cardigan (similar)/American Eagle Scarf (Similar)

Butternut Squash Soup

I just returned to school after spending a glorious week in the South Hills of Pittsburgh with my parents. One of my favorite things about going home is cooking with my mom. On the first night of my week at home, my mom and I put our own spin on a Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe that I found on Lemons & Anchovies. This recipe, like most Butternut Squash Soup recipes, calls for a blender, but we went sans-blender this time, and the soup turned out to be delicious! We paired the soup was a delicious autumn harvest bread, and it was a full-on fall food paradise in the Murray home that night!

 Vegan Butternut Squash Soup (serves 4)


2 butternut squash

2 small or 1 medium onion, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

1/3 cup pistachios

4 cups vegetable broth

2 teaspoons Curry Powder

1 teaspoon Sage Powder

Salt and pepper

Olive Oil



  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds
  3. Lay squash (inside facing down) on a baking tray covered in aluminum foil and drizzled with olive oil
  4. Roast for 30-40 or until tender
  5. When squash is tender, allow it to cool, then scrap squash from the skin, and mash
  6. Lightly toast pistachios in olive oil, then grind in chopper or food processor
  7. Lightly caramelize onion in olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-heat (about 10 minutes)
  8. Add celery and sauté for about another 5 minutes
  9. Add curry powder and sage
  10. Stir in roasted squash and vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes
  11. Stir in ground pistachios and add salt and pepper, to taste
  12. Simmer for 1-2 minutes
  13. Serve and enjoy!

Fall Break Style

It’s Fall Break, which means midterms are over (finally!!), and I have some much needed time to relax and enjoy one of my favorite times of year with my family. On our first night together, my mom and I whipped up a fall favorite for dinner…butternut squash soup (look out for the recipe coming to The Pace soon!!). My mom is also an avid reader of The Pace (so supportive 🙂 ), so while we were grocery shopping, she reminded me to pick up a pumpkin to cross off Number 3 from my Fall To-Do List: carving a pumpkin!

One of my favorite things about fall is layering. This sleeveless top (similar here) transitions perfectly from summer to fall with the help of this over-sized cardigan (similar). The secret behind this look? It’s borrowed from the boys! My boyfriend, Eric, was about to toss this cardigan from Zara into the donation box when I convinced him to donate it to my closet instead ;). Now, I wear this cardigan with everything—dresses, sleeveless tops, tee shirts…you name it! It’s the perfect layering piece.


What’s your go-to layering piece? Let me know in the comment section!

Zara Cardigan (similar)/Top (similar)/American Eagle Jeans/Booties (similar)