April 29, 2011

Neon Dreams.

Still obsessed with pops of bright neon.  Just a little stripe (or squiggle) is all you need to totally shake up an outfit.  Personally, I prefer pink or yellow... 


*Dress; Clutch; Necklace; Flats.


PS - The links for yesterday's post have now been added.  This is why y'all need to follow me on Twitter - so you can let me know when I do dumb stuff like that!

April 28, 2011

Tote It.

Well, it's that time of year again... graduation season!  If you're graduating, chances are that your parents or another loved one is going to want to give you a big gift.  This is a major milestone, after all!  There are two things that I think should be at the top of your list.  First, a pair of diamond studs - classic, timeless, something you can pass down to your own daughter for her graduation.  If that's not in the cards, then a good quality leather tote bag or satchel should be your second choice.  I'm sorry y'all, but just you can not carry your Longchamp bag into a professional job interview.

1. Cole Haan Vintage Valise Kendra E/W Tote - $378.00 via Zappos
2. Marc by Marc Jacobs Bianca Hayley Leather Tote - $498.00 via Saks Fifth Avenue
3. Hype Russel Woven Satchel - $210.00 via Bluefly
4. Banana Republic Market Tote - $120.00
5. Rebecca Minkoff Cherish Soft Body Tote - $295.00

So what to look for?  First, a neutral color.  I think I've said before that my favorite neutral is gray because it truly goes with everything - from brown, black, and navy to neon brights.  But you know your wardrobe and style best.  If your work basics are 90% black, then a black tight might be a better pick for you.  You should also consider size.  It should look fine just carrying it as a purse, but should be big enough to fit a laptop and/or files if needed.  Finally, go for a sophisticated silhouette - no crazy hardware and nothing overly slouchy, like a hobo.  And remember, this is an investment.  If you buy (ask for) a quality bag and take good care of it, there is no reason why it can't last for 10 years or even longer.

Thirsty Thursday: Madewell Pleated Pembroke Dress

This dress is just so lovely, isn't it?  The gorgeous pinky coral color, the soft pleats... it looks like it would be really fun to twirl around in.  Perfect for a summer wedding or garden party.


{Madewell Pembroke Pleated Dress - $185.00}

April 27, 2011

Croppin' Up.

This is a look that my stomach is not quiiiiite ready for yet, but I'm getting there.  In the meantime, pairing a crop top with high-waisted bottoms is a good way to avoid showing too much skin.  Plus a high waist is generally pretty flattering since it hits you at your smallest point.  What do y'all think?  Would you wear any of these looks?


1. Vince Cropped Tee - $88.00 via Barney's New York
2. Lilly Skirt - $79.99 via French Connection
3. Navy Knotted Stripe Crop Top - $30.00 via Topshop
4. Tory Burch High-Waisted Flare Pants - $235.00 via My Theresa
5. T by Alexander Wang Cropped Placket Tee - $89.00 via Barney's New York
6. Vanessa Bruno Athe Paper Bag Shorts - $89.50 via The Outnet

April 26, 2011

DIY: Chevron Art.

Most of y'all are probably (more than) aware of The Great Flood of 2010 and the "redecorating" that followed.  Ten months later, we have finally entered the home stretch.  We have few big purchases left to make (I swear we ARE going to finally buy some dining room chairs), but mostly we're on to the details like new lamps, curtains, and of course, artwork.  


I've been wanting to do something about the space over our couch for months.  We had a placeholder print up there, and it was a total snoozefest.  So when I saw this DIY for chevron paintings on Makeunder My Life, I had to try it.  Jess's tutorial is great, but I tweaked it a little bit to make it work for me.  Make sure you read her post too, and use whichever way works best for you (or make up your own way).


Ok, first, gather your supplies.  I used:


*2 18 x 24 canvases
*Stencil (print it out several times to get the right length for you canvas)
*Painter's tape
*Acrylic paint (your preferred color(s) + white)
*Paintbrushes (thick + fine)
*Scissors


Second, some general tips:
*I worked outside on the porch (first my friend Laura's, then mine), but this really isn't a messy project, so just put a bit of newspaper or plastic over your kitchen table and you should be good to go.
*Once you get the hang of how long to cut your pieces of tape, cut off a bunch at a time.  Also, make sure you cut as straight as possible, so when you're lining up your tape on the canvas, you get a nice sharp point on each chevron.  Whatever you do, do not tear the tape by hand.
*You can use whatever size canvas you want.  Laura got 4 12 x 12s to make a big square.  Figure out what size works for your space, and go with that.  You can easily customize the stencil to fit.
*I used acrylic paint, but I think that you could definitely use spray paint.
*If you notice bleeding under your tape once you peel it off, use the white paint and the fine paintbrush to carefully touch it up.


Now, let's get started.  I didn't like the method of using pushpins to mark where the chevron points should be because I am severely spatially challenged, so I decided to doctor my stencil like this:



And just taped around it, like this:


The taping is BY FAR the hardest part of this project.  Don't freak out if the pattern doesn't end up being exact.  Use the stencil as a guide, and I promise, you won't be able to tell when if you end up off by an inch or two by the time you get to the end of your canvas.


When you're all taped, it will look like this:



This next step is really important.  Before you start painting, make sure you really go over your tape to get it pressed down tightly.  I had issues with the paint bleeding underneath it and messing up the look of the lines.  Then you paint:


Two pieces of advice here.  If you mix your own paint color, which I did for the green (not shown), be sure to mix up more than you think you're going to need.  It's fairly impossible to mix multiple batches of paint in the exact same shade, and I had to put two coats on each canvas.  Expect to use about a half a tube of paint per painting.  Once the paint is dry, it's time to peel the tape off:



Do your touchups if needed, and you're done!  The canvas is so light, you don't even need any hooks to mount these to your wall.  J hung them up in about 10 mins using just regular nails.  



I think we're going to buy some frames for these, and eventually that couch has to go too, but I love the immediate difference in the room.  What do y'all think?

PS - Laura had a great idea if you're interested in adding a little something extra to your chevron.  Many craft stores sell kits that allow you to make your own stencil.  The chevron would be a really cool backdrop for incorporating on a design motif that you already have in your house by stenciling, for example, a palm tree on top.  Or a monogram.  Or anything else your little heart desires.

April 25, 2011

Inspiration: Scarves (Part 2).

As promised, Part 2!  Make sure you click on over to check out the rest of Brinley's scarves.  They are gorgeoussss.


If I were going to wear this outfit, I'd either wrap the scarf around my waist and belt the white belt over it, or I'd tie it to my bag in big fun bow.



For this one, I'd fold the scarf in half and wear it in my hair, letting the ends hang long down my back.


Hope this helps, Brin!  Good luck in NYC!

*ETA: Hope y'all had a great weekend and a happy Easter.  If you follow me on Twitter, you know a little about the fun DIY project I tackled this weekend.  Pictures coming tomorrow!

April 22, 2011

Good News.

Hey y'all!  Not sure what's going on with the second part of the post.  It's written and scheduled, but it seems to be floating in internet purgatory.  And since I just found that I PASSED THE BAR, I'm too busy drinking champagne and celebrating to worry about it right now.  So y'all have a great weekend, and come back on Monday for Part 2!

Inspiration: Scarves (Part 1).

I've done a post on silk scarves once before, and in that post I mentioned my friend Brinley who is a graphic designer and also runs Lardiere Collection with her dad, who is an artist.  They make gorgeous scarves based on her dad's paintings, and they are going to be in NYC in a few weeks for the accessories market.  Brinley asked if I had any ideas for how to wear their scarves, since she usually just goes with a solid top and jeans.


I think the easiest way to spice things up is to get creative with how you tie the scarf itself.  Instead of just looping it around your neck, try knotting it up like this:



Or fold it diagonally and tie it in a square:

*Image via Delightfully Tacky.

If you're feeling brave, tie it in your hair:


And my favorite idea - belt it:


Check back this afternoon because I've created a few outfits using scarves from the Lardiere Collection.

April 21, 2011

Flat Feet.

Pop quiz!  What summer footwear is the perfect mix of preppy and hippie?  Answer: Espadrille flats.  I love these for many reasons.  They're perfect with summer dresses or shorts, and they come in pretty much every color and price point you can imagine.


1. ALDO Fleharty - $40.00
2. Blowfish Sandox Espadrille Flat - $34.95 via DSW
3. Ked's Champion Jute Slip On - $48.00 via Kitson
4. Kate Spade Lido - $99.00
5. Franco Sarto Whip Flat - $48.95 via Nordstrom
6. Charles Albert Colette Espadrille Skimmer - $32.90 via Alloy
7. Tory Burch Striped Espadrille - $95.00 via Bergdorf Goodman
8. DVF Cadence Espadrille Flat - $98.00 via Jildor
9. Lacoste Marthe Espadrille - $84.00 via Piperlime
10. Report Lucas - $35.00 via Piperlime
11. Etienne Aigner Urban Floral Espadrille Flat - $29.95 via DSW
12. Topshop Vernon Yellow Canvas Espadrilles - $20.00
13. Unionbay Cody Espadrille - $34.90 via Alloy

Thirsty Thursday: Milly Nevis Print Dress

I'm trying to add more prints to my summer wardrobe, and I stumbled across this fun dress during my lunch hour shopping break on Tuesday.  Love.


{Milly Nevis printed dress - $270.00 via Net-A-Porter}

April 20, 2011

Sail Away.

Every summer I get a little obsessed with a particular quirky motif.  One year it was seahorses, then starfish, and this year... sailboats.  They're just so perfectly preppy and summery.  I can't get enough.  These are some of my faves that I've found so far.



Do any of y'all have a favorite summer "theme"?

April 19, 2011

Lip Service.

A few years ago, I was in Nordstrom on my lunch break and, on whim, I bought what turned out to be the most perfect shade of bright fuschia pink lipstick ever.  And every spring, I get excited to be able to wear it again.  (It requires me to be tan).  This year it seems I'm not the only one...



*Images via People.

*Images via Shine; People.

Sadly, my perfect shade (YSL Rouge Pur #135) seems to have been discontinued, but there are lots more options to choose from.

1. Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Fuschia - $6.49 via Target
2. MAC Lipstick in Show Orchid - $14.50
3. YSL Fard A Levres Rouge Pur Lipstick #49 Tropical Pink - $30.00
4. Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in Fever - $30.00 via Sephora

What do y'all think?  Will you try this trend?

April 18, 2011

Traditional.

Last week, Lonny and Traditional Home launched their new collaboration - a online interior design mag called TRADHome.  I finally got some time to sit down with it yesterday evening... and y'all, there was drool on my keyboard.  The interiors in that sucker are GORGEOUS.  I saved a ton of inspiration images, but since the dining room and living room are my main focus in our house right now, I went a little heavy in those areas.  So here are three amazing living rooms, two fabulous dining rooms, and one seriously stunning kitchen that I just had to share with y'all.







*All images via TRADHome.

TRADHome's aesthetic is exactly what I hope to replicate in our house - a traditional foundation with fun, modern, slightly quirky personal touches.  What do y'all think?  Did you have a favorite room from the issue?

April 15, 2011

La Plage.

By the time the sun goes down tonight,  I will have my toes in the sand and a glass of wine in my hand.  (I didn't mean for that to rhyme, but I like it.)  I hope y'all have an equally fun and fabulous weekend!  See you Monday...




*Images: mine, Aubrey Road, Just Let Go.

April 14, 2011

Shake Your Tassel.

Tassels are a little mini trend I've noticed this spring.  It seems like they're everywhere - shoes, bags, jewelry, even bathing suits.  I rounded up a few of my faves, but you shouldn't have to look far for more options.


1. By Malene Birger Koska Poncho - $325.00 via Net-A-Porter
2.  DV by Dolce Vita Toni Wedge - $83.00 via Zappos
3. Hive & Honey Tassel Pendant Necklace - $36.00 via Piperlime
4. Rebecca Minkoff Belle Convertible Clutch - $211.00 via Bluefly
5. Warehouse Chain Tassel Belt - $35.86 via ASOS 
6. DV by Dolce Vita Marcela Loafers - $69.99 via Dillard's
7. Topshop Wood and Bead Bracelets - $28.00
8. Quicksilver Bittersweet Bikini - $84.00

April 13, 2011

Calypso St. Barth for Target.

It's no secret how I feel about Target's Go International Collections.  (If you're new here, I'll sum up: I'm obsessed.)  Now, some of them have been of questionable quality, it's true.  But a lot of them, like Tucker and Thakoon, for instance, have been incredible, and any time I have a chance to get designer goods at Target prices, I'm in.  I have been dying over the home goods, and the silver metallic pouf specifically, from the upcoming Calypso St. Barth collab since I saw the ad in the May issue of Lucky.  Yesterday, Target finally released all 87 lookbook images, and it seems like this collection is shaping up to be a really good one.  It will hit stores on May 1, which happens to be my birthday.  Target's gift to me (via J's wallet) can be that pouf.  Perfect!




What do y'all think?  Do you see anything you're dying to have?

April 12, 2011

Flats + Tights.

So my best friend D has an engagement party to attend this weekend, and since no dress code has been specified, we've decided that dressy casual is her best bet.  The party is in the evening in Pittsburgh, so it's going to be chilly, and I think D might off herself if she has to wear boots one more time.  Plus, she really wants to wear a springy dress.  This is my suggestion, using some flats that she just bought.



I think that it would also be really fun to do dark tights and a super bright cardigan (plus one of the many purple/blue/green/turquoise necklaces that I know D has), like this:


D's main concern is looking too young with the flats and tights.  I think the bold colors and stud details keeps this from looking childish.  What do y'all think?  Do you rock tights and flats?

April 11, 2011

Rope It In.

Alright y'all... it's Beach Week!  (AKA, the week before we leave for the beach... for the weekend.  Technicality.)   So anyway, I started getting all of my beach gear together, and I remembered how much I like my beach bag - it has rope handles.  I bought it like 5 years ago, but luckily rope is a classic preppy summer motif, so there are tons of other options out there.



1. Row Chunky Rope Necklace - $40.00 via Topshop
2. 3.1 Phillip Lim Striped Shirred Rope Dress - $325.00 via La Garconne
3. Michael Michael Kors Marina North/South Tote - $178.00 via Zappos
4. Kiel James Patrick Croffix Sailing Belt - $88.00 
5. Nine West Rope Wedge - $79.00
6. Old Navy Cuffed Lightweight Shorts - $24.94

Hope y'all have a good Monday!  Only 5 days til the weekend. 


PS - In case you missed my tweet on Friday, my wedding was featured on Every Last Detail. Go check it out if you're interested, and follow me on Twitter so you don't miss anything else!

April 8, 2011

Jetset.

If only I looked this chic in the airport...



This editorial from Mango combined with last night's House Hunters International (in Belize, no less) really makes me antsy to get started planning our next vacation.  My best friend D actually does have a getaway coming up (again, to Belize), and she asked for some help finding luggage.  

With baggage fees and the general hassle of checking luggage, my philosophy is that if you're going for 7 days or less, you need to carry on.  (Roll your clothes.  It does amazing things for space in your bag.)  My preferred carry on is a weekender-style bag because you never know when you're going to have to smush something down; you don't want a hard shell.  You also need to pay close attention to dimensions, particularly if you're shopping online, and choose a bag with at least 19 inches of width.


1. adidas by Stella McCartney Tennis Bag - $255.00 via Zappos Couture
2. Jane Marvel Wheeled Duffel - $165.00 via eBags
3. Filson Large Duffel - $320.00
4. Latico Basics Two Pocket Duffel - $209.00 via Endless
5. Latico Heritage Cabin Duffel - $185.00 via Endless
6. Halsea Little Harbor Weekend Bag - $240.00 via Endless

Do any of y'all have fun summer vacations planned?  Leave me your fave getaway spot in the comments.  I need some ideas for our first anniversary trip.

April 7, 2011

Concrete Jungle.

As I've been spring shopping the past few weeks, I noticed that there seems to be a lot of "safari" shirtdresses on the racks.  I think this is a great addition to your wardrobe because it can work for the weekend or the office (just choose one with sleeves).  I like to swap out the belt that comes with the dress for something more fun - leopard or a metallic or a punchy color.  So here you go, some city safari inspiration.



Thirsty Thursday: Clare Vivier Flat Clutch.

Guys.  My heart seriously beats faster when I look at this pretty baby.  It will be mine.  Soon.



There are tons more gorgeous colors and sizes on the website, and you can see how to wear a similar style here.

April 6, 2011

Wanderlust Wednesday: Marrakech

I studied abroad in Spain my junior year of college, and my only regret from that time is that I didn't go to Morocco.  It would've been so easy, and relatively cheap since I was already in Spain, but anti-American sentiment was pretty high that year (we spent a lot of time pretending to be Canadian), and I couldn't get a group to take the trip.  Ever since then I've been dreaming of cosmopolitan, romantic Casablanca and the colorful souks of Marrakech.  I've never been to Africa, and Morocco seems like a good way to ease into exploration of that continent.  If (when) I go, Riad L'Orangeraie in Marrakech will be at the top of my list.  It's located in the heart of the Medina, and the rooftop pool and terrace look like a relaxing escape from the overwhelming sights and sounds of the old city.


*Images via Riad L'Orangeraie.

And since it is Morocco, seemingly the birthplace of color, you can't wear neutrals, and as a woman, covering up, even in the heat, is advisable.  I'd go with rolled up white jeans, a patterned tunic, and plenty of bold accessories.


Have any of y'all ever been to Morocco?  I'd love to hear about your trip if you have.

April 5, 2011

Bathing Beauties.

Well pretty ladies, it is officially warm down here in the Southland, and in two weeks, I will be chillin' with my (freshly manicured) toes in the sand down in Garden City.  And that means... I have to go bathing suit shopping.  I know that for a lot of girls, this is probably your least favorite shopping experience, but it doesn't have to be.  Let's start with the basics: price and style.


Personally, I don't ever pay much more than $50 for a suit, but that's because I go through at least 3 a summer.  I mean, in July in South Carolina, the high routinely hits triple digits, and on the weekends we basically don't move from the pool deck... unless we're on our way down to the dock.  You can always get great, cheap, one-season suits from Target and Victoria's Secret, but my go-to is Old Navy.  Their suits are reasonably priced, they have lots of mix and match options, and the suits are actually much better quality than a lot of the clothes; one-season prices for more-than-one-season suits.  Now, that's not to say that a great bikini can't be a good investment, but I still wouldn't pay more than $100, and none of these suits are over that price range.



As far as style and fit, remember that you can never go wrong with basic black.  It looks good with or without a tan, so just add some oversized shades, you're instantly chic.  In the same vein, nautical stripes will never go out of style, so that's always a safe bet as well.  If you want to emphasize an area, choose wider stripes and vice versa.  I have a fairly small chest, so I like to go for ruffles or ruching up top to give the appearance of a fuller bust.  I'm also pretty straight up and down, so I like hip ties or toggles to fake a bit of an hourglass shape.  If you're, um... blessed... in the cleavage department, please, please, please choose a top with underwire.  If you're bigger than a C cup, you really can not wear a triangle top.  (Seriously.  No.)  



To disguise a tummy or hips, step away from the tankini.  Nothing looks worse than a tankini top that won't stay down.  There are plenty of really cool, fun one pieces out there these days, and retro styles especially tend to offer tops with more support.  


The great thing about only spending $30 or so on a suit is that you can go as trendy as you want.  Tribal prints and details are big this year, and I'm definitely going to have to add one to my collection.



Alright y'all.  Which one is your fave?  Do you have any more fit and/or style tips?