December 31, 2010

2010 Recap + 2011 Goals

Oh my goodness you guys, can you believe that today is the last day of 2010?  I've been warning J and our friends that I might actually cry tears of relief when that clock hits midnight and 2010 is officially behind us.  What a rollercoaster this year has been for me!


In January, I started this blog, and I got to go to NYC with some of my best friends.  

Then in April, J and I bought our first precious little house.

And in May we graduated from law school, and moved to South Carolina, which was a pretty big change for me.  

June brought the lowest low we've had in a long time when the precious little house was flooded, and the interior had to be completely gutted and rebuilt.  Ceilings, walls, and floors were all destroyed.  BUT, I did get to pick my own wall colors for the new walls... so that hideous red is now a very lovely cashmere gray.

We got married almost exactly two months later and spent a glorious week relaxing in Belize.  

We got to go to Charleston several times this fall and in December I went to Atlanta for Lavish! with my lovely friend Tina, which was such an incredible experience for me.  We also got to spend a (very) white Christmas with my family in the mountains, near Blowing Rock.

When I look back over 2010, I have such mixed feelings about it.  On the one hand, when I write it all out, the highs definitely outnumber the lows, but what a low it was. In truth, we're still not fully recovered from it.  I am just now getting my turn to take the bar, and of course, I also had to put my job search on hold, which has really stretched our finances this winter.  On the other hand, I doubt I would've had as much time to devote this bloggy blog if I had gone straight to work full time.  I can definitely see the difference in what this blog was before August, and what it's become since then, and I hope that y'all can too.  This blog is my second favorite thing to happen in 2010, and I'm really excited to see where it takes me next year.  (The wedding was my first favorite thing, obviously.)  Thank y'all SO MUCH for coming to my little corner of the internet, and I hope that 2011 will even better here on Penny Loves Charlie.


Sorry for the wordy post, I just really felt like I wanted to do this.  Do y'all make New Year's resolutions/goals?  I'd love to hear them.  For the record, mine are to lose weight (of course), to pass the bar and get a job (hopefully that one won't take ALL year), and to learn Photoshop.


HAPPY 2011, Y'ALL!  Have fun tonight, and be safe!

Copycat: Isla Fisher

Not only is Isla Fisher gorgeous (that hair!), she's also incredibly funny.  And she's married to Sasha Baron Cohen.  She probably has abs of steel from laughing so much.  She certainly looks awesome in this Dolce & Gabbana Dress.


*Image via Outfit Identifier.

I love this for a cocktail party (like a New Year's Eve cocktail party, perhaps) or a winter wedding.  Unfortunately for those of us trying to recreate this look, the field of lace dresses is riddled with landmines.  You don't want to look like a call girl, a call girl in lingerie, a call girl at a Renaissance Fair, or worse, a sophomore on her way to Homecoming.  But fear not pretties, there are good options out there.


1. Moschino Cheap & Chic Sleeveless Lace Dress - $734.25 via MyWardrobe
2. Milly Liana Mini Dress - $276.50
3. Forever 21 Romantic Contract Lace Dress - $24.80

Check back later today for a 2010 Recap + 2011 Goals!  And don't forget to follow me on Twitter.

December 30, 2010

Hit A High Note.

Is it too soon for another George Costanza reference?  Well, you're gonna get one anyway... remember the episode where George decides to end all conversations on a high note and starts doing the "walk out"?  That's what New Year's Eve is like for me.  It's a chance to end the year on a high note, sartorially at least.  And it doesn't matter if you're going out for a fancy dinner, or just staying in with a few friends, I've got outfit ideas for everyone.  I kept the accessories the same for all three boards, and I incorporated some of the same pieces across the boards as well.  I also really tried to stick with items that are probably already in your closets.


Sequins and sparkle are an obvious New Year's Eve choice and there are tons of cute and affordable options out there is year.  

If you feel like getting a little symbolic with your outfit choice, white is the way to go.  It's clean and fresh, a blank canvas, just like the new year. (So deep today!)  Mixing it with the black accessories makes a cool graphic statement. (And PS - I know the skirt looks weird in the photo, but trust me, it's much cuter when you put it on.)

Finally, if you want to spice things up with some color, why not go with Pantone's 2011 Color of the Year, Honeysuckle?  This is a gorgeous, vibrant pink, and it's super fun for a party dress.

So tell me, how are you planning to celebrate 2011?  And what are you planning to wear?

Star Sprinkles.

How pretty and glamorous are these little deserts?  Perfect for New Year's Eve...



And the best part is that they're totally doable (only $16 for 4) for your own New Year's bash, with the magic of overnight shipping, of course...


I've talked a lot about party inspiration this week, but stay tuned this afternoon for New Year's Eve outfit ideas!  Three posts in one day, phew!

And don't forget to follow me on Twitter.

Thirsty Thursday: Adam Folded-Sequin Dress

This is possibly the most gorgeous dress I've ever seen.  It's a serious showstopper.  Just add black heels and a simple black clutch, and DONE - you're the best dressed girl at the party.


{Adam Folded-sequin Silk-organza Dress - $1495.00 via Net-A-Porter}

December 29, 2010

Navy + Pink.

I've recently become obsessed with this color combo.  It's so preppy and fun.  I have this lipstick from YSL (that I'm not even sure you can get anymore) that I haven't worn in months.  I'm thinking I need to break it out again.

1. Vanessa Jackman; 2. Details (Cover) shot by Annie Schlechter, scanned by me.

PS - J gave me the most awesome printer, and I used my Christmas money to buy this awesome camera.  I feel like such a cool big girl blogger now.  Thanks, J!

December 28, 2010

Bright Idea.

I don't know about y'all but I am craving some color in my winter wardrobe.  I feel like everything I've been wearing lately is black or gray or cream, and I miss the bright jewel tones of my summer clothes, so I went virtual window shopping for some (mostly) winter-friendly options.


1. Vanessa Bruno Mini Dress - $152.00 via Net-A-Porter
2. Kate Spade Head in the Sand Melinda -$425.00
3. Old Navy Boyfriend Sweater - $26.50
4. French Connection Blase Wool Frill Coat - $299.99 
5. Marc Jacobs Wool Skirt - $404.76 via MyTheresa
6. Bright Blue Yonder Cape - $147.99 via ModCloth
7. Marc by Marc Jacobs Silk Dress - $299.00 via Bluefly
8. Fontanelli Croc Belt - $92.00 via Forzieri
9. Golden Classic Jelly Watch - $20.00 via Endless
10. Nine West Playtag D'Orsay Pump - $79.00

December 27, 2010

Enchanted Forest.

Since it's pretty much a winter wonderland here on the East Coast right now, I figured I might as well go with it and share these gorgeous images from the Southern Weddings blog.  I am obsessed with the table settings - I love the twisty forks. (I know, I'm weird.)  We're going out to celebrate this New Year's, but if you're hosting a little soiree, this enchanted forest/winter wonderland theme makes for some gorgeous decor inspiration.


*Images by Jeff Holt photography.

December 23, 2010

Country Christmas.

By the time this post goes up, J, Penny, Charlie, and I (God willin' and the creek don't rise) will be on our way to Blowing Rock to meet up with my parents and brother for Christmas.  We've rented a cabin on the side of the mountain and I can't wait to get there.  I'm hoping that it will look something like this...


*Images via Vogue (discovered on Habitually Chic) and Country Living.


The forecast for Blowing Rock is calling for snow on Saturday, which would just about thrill me to death.  This Florida girl has never had a white Christmas, and it would be such a cool present from Mother Nature if it happens.  *Fingers crossed.*


I hope y'all have yourselves a very merry Christmas!  I'll be back on Monday.

Thirsty Thursday: Rose Cut Gold Vermeil Stone Bands

I discovered Layla Grace through the Lavish! (un)conference that I attended in Atlanta a few weekends ago, and I am obsessed.  You can find tons of super cute and reasonably priced jewelry, handbags, clothes, and home goods.  In particular, I am dying over this gorgeous set of rings.  I love that they're delicate but tough at the same time, and the color of that smokey quartz is amazing, n'est pas?  I love gray... and who knew you could even get (real) gray gemstones?


{Hand Pounded Rose Cut Gold Vermeil Stone Bands - $130.00}

If you get some Christmas spending money on Saturday, definitely poke around on the site.  There are tons of goodies to be found.

December 22, 2010

Gather 'Round.

I've been obsessed with tablescapes ever since I was little.  At Thanksgiving, my job would always be to make the centerpiece and dress the table.  I can't wait until J and I get to host our first family holiday dinner, but until then, I can comb the interwebs for inspiration.  And, darlings, there is plenty out there.  Check out these beauties:





I think my favorite is the gray and red on the bottom left.  Which one do y'all like best?

December 21, 2010

Family Fun.

However you choose to celebrate, the holidays almost always mean family time, and all of the togetherness can be a little bit... much sometimes.  Like when your dad makes you pretend to unwrap the same gift six times because he can't figure out how to work the camera.  Or when your grandfather has too many G&Ts and starts telling dirty jokes.  Or when your little cousin throws your brand new scarf in the toilet and tries to flush it down.  And that's just your own family - there's still your significant other's friends and relatives to contend with.  And if it's your very first holiday visit, the stress of not knowing what to expect is enough to cause a breakout or (gasp!) a gray hair.  The last thing you want to worry about is your outfit, so here are two suggestions that are casual but classy, perfect for meeting the fam, hanging out with old high school friends, and sure to be approved by all of his relatives - even his senile and deaf great aunt who hears your name as "Katie" and subsequently calls you that all weekend.*


1. Adriano Goldschmeid Cigarette Leg Jeans - $195.00 via StyleBop
2. Aubin & Wills Cardigan - $150.00 via Net-A-Porter
3. Aeropostale A87 Solid Pocket Tee - $5.00 
4. Hurley Spectrum Hobo - $27.20 via eBags
5. Urban Outfitters Braided Chain Bead Necklace - $29.00 
6. Cooperative Leather Double Wrap Skinny Belt - $28.00 via Urban Outfitters
7. Charlotte Russe Flat Riding Boot - $45.50 


1. Delia's Devin Peacoat - $69.50 
2. Boat Neck Sweater Dress - $30.00 via Old Navy
3. Ribbed Patterned Tights - $6.80 via Forever 21
4. Kate Spade Olivetti Scarf - $155.00
5. Marc by Marc Jacobs Classic Q Huge Hillier Hobo - $498.00 via Endless
6. Nine West Orro Booties - $79.99 via Macy's
7. Banana Republic Sweet Virginia pearl earrings - $29.99

*True story.  Actually, they're all pretty much true.  Good luck, D! 

December 20, 2010

Last Minute.

Everyone loves getting presents, right?  Except when someone who wasn't on your list surprises you with a nice gift.  Not only have they been generous to you, now you look like a scrooge in return.  We've all been there, and it's the worst.  But fret not, lovely readers.  Here are six suggestions (no gift cards!) that you can pick up quickly and without breaking the bank.

1. Popcorn Knit Scarf - $19.99 via Gap
2. Paula Deen 2 Quart Tea Kettle - $29.99 via BedBathBeyond
3. Smith's Rosebud Salve - $6.00 via Sephora
4. Global Girlfriend Uganda Wallet - $16.99 via Target
5. Ona Vase - $18.95 via Crate & Barrel
6. Chain Necklace - $8.99 via Old Navy

December 17, 2010

(Holiday) Party Hardy.

Happy Friday, people!  If you're like J and me, you probably have a holiday party or two on your calendar this weekend.  But don't worry, I've put together four inspiration boards covering a variety of scenarios.  Don't get sticker shock from some of these links - these are just meant to be ideas to guide you when you turn to your own closet.  Y'all have fun, and be safe!


For dinner and Secret Santa with your girlfriends:



For your office party downtown:



For the extended family gift exchange at your grandma's:


And finally, for a cocktail party with a big group of your most stylish friends - old and new:




*Girls' Party: Dress - Tibi via StyleBop; Jacket - IRO via The Outnet; Shoes - Michael Kors via Endless; Necklace: Fossil; Nail Polish: Nars Schiap via Barney's


*Office Party: Dress - Alberta Ferretti via My Theresa; Jacket - Theory via Net-A-Porter; Shoes - Ted Baker via ASOS; Tights - Hue via Dillard's; Necklace: Amanda Pearl via Endless; Bag: Lauren Merkin

*Family Party: Dress - Antik Batik via The Outnet; Shoes - Strategia via Yoox; Bag - Halston Heritage via ShopBop; Earrings - Scott Wilson via ASOS

*Friends' Party: Dress - DKNY via Net-A-Porter; Coat - Elizabeth & James via Farfetch; Shoes - Donna Karan via The Outnet; Necklace: Charm & Chain; Tights: Hue via Dillard's; Bag: Kate Spade via Zappos Couture

December 16, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: DVF Eva Peep Toe.

It's the second week in a row that DVF has been the star of Thirsty Thursday, but can you blame me?  Eva is a show stopper if I've ever seen one.


{DVF Eva Peep Toe Sandal - $275.00 via Saks}

December 15, 2010

Layer It On.

Here is my problem with winter: you have to wear a lot of clothes.  I strongly prefer sundresses and sandals, shorts and tees.  However, I prefer not freezing above all, and Florida bloods tends to run a bit thin.  Therefore, I have to play winter's little game and layer up.  I think the issue that most girls have with layering is that it can get bulky really quickly.  For me, camisoles are key.  Throw on a thin, silky camisole and a tissue tee and you've only added like 1/8 inch to your body.  Also, don't forget that every layer doesn't have to cover the same spot (i.e. a vest over a jacket), and remember to layer on your bottom half!  Tights and wool socks under a long skirt, over-the-knee boots on top of skinny jeans - all of these add warmth and won't make you look hefty.


Some inspiration to get to you started...




The Velvet Fog.

George Costanza once said, "I would drape myself in velvet if it was socially acceptable."  If you feel the same way, then it's your lucky day.  I'm here to tell you that velvet IS socially acceptable; I would even go so far as to say it's recommended.  When I was little, my mom always used to dress me in velvet dresses for the annual Christmas pictures.  I put the kabosh on that when I was 12 or so, but my older, wiser self has to admit that she was on to something.  It's the perfect winter fabric - cozy and plush.  I never thought I'd say this, but take a cue from George Costanza and my mom and ensconce yourself in one of these:

1. Closed United Straight Pants - $197.68 via MyTheresa
2. White House/Black Market Bejeweled-Bow Velvet Clutch - $48.00
3. Madewell Velvet Panel Top - $59.99 
4. Rare Opulence Velvet Sequin Dress - $190.00 via Topshop
5. Kate Spade Fling flats - $150.00 via Zappos Couture
6. Wren Mia Navy Velvet Skirt - $198.00 via Les Nouvelles
7. Madewell Velvet Pocket Tee - $42.00
8. ALDO Faler Bow Headband - $11.98

December 13, 2010

Mishmash.

Holy moly, y'all I had a GREAT weekend!  The Lavish conference in Atlanta was absolutely amazing - there were so many super talented and creative women there and I feel like I learned a ton.  I took notes law school style... like pages and pages.  I definitely have some ideas for improving the blog (including a new layout/design from this lady), and I can't wait to put what I've learned to use all up in here. 


Then on our way to brunch in ATL yesterday afternoon, it started snowing!  It was freeeeeezing (literally) and my friend Tina had this amazing giant chunky scarf that I was seriously coveting.  Etsy is a great place to find stuff like that on the cheap so I rounded up a few of my favorites.  It seems like the cold is pretty well settled in across the entire Eastern seaboard today, so try to stay warm, y'all!


1.  Teal Blue Super Cowl - $65.00 via BenaBlissDesigns
2. Long Neck Warmer in Fisherman - $55.00 via tomiffy
3. Earth Chunky Long Infinity Scarf - $28.00 via happyidea
4. Emerald Green Scarf - $39.00 via flaxdesigns

PS - One of my favorite parts of the conference was the Rue Magazine + HGTV party on Saturday night.  Tina and I got meet our girl crush and participate in the first ever video smilebooth, some of which may end up on hgtv.com!  I can't wait to share the video and pics with you as soon as they're available.  But in the mean time, go check out Rue if you haven't already. 

PPS - Penny Loves Charlie is now on Twitter!  Follow me here, and tweet at me so I can follow you as well.

December 10, 2010

Lovely Leather.

*Images via Ellington Handbags, renneslechateau (Etsy).

Wouldn't you be ecstatic if either of these beauties ended up under your tree?

PS - I'm off to Atlanta today for the lavish! conference along with this pretty lady.  Some of my favorite bloggers will be speaking, and I'm so excited/nervous about getting a chance to (hopefully) meet some of them.  But I'm even more excited about the amazing info I'm sure I'm going to learn.  Full report on Monday!

PPS- Sorry for the delay! My Google account was hacked this morning. :(

December 9, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: DVF Kindle Cover.

Two of my favorite things: Diane von Furstenberg + the Amazon Kindle.  I've been so jealous of all you Nook people because you get super cute cases from Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade, but then I found this beauty.



{Diane von Furstenberg Kindle Cover - $85.00 via Amazon}

Modelizer.

Different models, different styles but I kinda love them all.


*Images via altamira.

Especially Jessica Hart and her awesome scarf, because I have one just like it.  I love when I find street style looks that I can recreate with my own pieces.

PS - Yes, I know it's a little ridiculous for me to rave about her "awesome" scarf and then say that I have one just like it.  But I decided I don't care, because it is awesome and it's one of my favorite things. Ha.

December 8, 2010

Deck The Halls.

So I really wanted to show y'all some pictures of my Christmas decorations, but I can't find my camera cord, and I decided to stop looking for it before I got really mad.  Therefore, you will have to settle for some inspiration from blogland instead.  Our decorations are kind of a hodgepodge this year since we couldn't really splurge for all new (blue and silver) decor like I wanted.  But at least I've got plenty of ideas for next year!  


Like bright and modern...



or PINK!


On the other hand, it's hard to go wrong with a more traditional look...


...with lots of natural greenery.


I'm kind of in love with that last tree in all white, so maybe I'll have to rethink the blue and silver.  How are y'all decorating this year?

December 7, 2010

Copycat: Jessica Simpson

J. Simp here is generally hit or miss.  Sometimes she kills it, other times she'd be better off killing her stylist.  However, I happen to love the bag she was carrying in New York a few weeks ago.  (Duh.  It's leopard.)  Sadly, her version is Prada, but I rounded up a few "real people" options that I think are just as cute.


*Image via OutfitID.


1. GUESS "Untamed" Satchel - $130.00
2. Spiegel Leopard-Print Satchel - $39.00
3. B. Makowsky "Lincoln Large" Leather Satchel - $109.97 via Nordstrom Rack
4. Gianni Bini "Sofie" Large Leopard-Print Satchel - $149.00 via Dillard's

*Legalese: Obviously, I don't think Jessica (or anyone) would be better off in any way by killing her stylist.  I don't know if she even HAS a stylist.  (This is her whole problem, really.)

December 6, 2010

Pants Me.

Guys, I made a pretty huge decision over the weekend: I've decided to buy some pants.


See, all I have in my closet are tons of jeans, a few skirts, and tons of dresses.  I don't own a single pair of casual pants that aren't jeans.  Not even cords.  And the reason is that I *H.A.T.E.* buying pants.  In recent years, I have gained some weight, some of which I really needed to gain... the other 10 lbs, not so much.  Even with some extra padding, I don't think that I have a particularly odd body shape, but clothing manufacturers clearly expect someone of my girth to also be 5'11".  As you can imagine this is somewhat disheartening - both for my ego and for my wallet, because everything I buy has to be tailored. However, I have been coaching myself the past few months (yes, I know how ridiculous that sounds) to let go of being a certain size and focus on buying what I like and what makes me feel good, regardless of whether it says size 4 (thank you, Old Navy) or size 10 (vanity sizing works, Ann Taylor).  Therefore, I'm buying pants.  


To further pysch myself up, I've been gathering inspiration from some of my favorite style bloggers...


*Images via Kendi Everyday, B. Jones Style, The Sartorialist, Vanessa Jackman, This Time Tomorrow

All of these looks aren't necessarily my style, and even if they were, I definitely couldn't pull all of them off (hello Chloe pants, top right), but they did give me some shopping inspiration.

1. LOFT Randi Plaid Lean Trousers - $69.99
2. J.Crew Minnie Pant - $79.50
3. Fletcher by Lyell Pleated Pant - $78.00 via Urban Outfitters
4. Club Monaco Kaylyn Pleated Pant - $138.00 via ShopBop

Ok, so what do y'all think?  Do you like these looks?  Would you wear any of these?