Monthly Archives: November 2011

2011 Gift Guide: Kids Edition

The people that are most excited about holiday presents are obviously the kids.  If you have ever spent a Christmas morning with someone who is looking for the tag marked with their name and a “love, Santa” then you already know this.

I know a lot of pretty cool kids, but our niece and nephews were definitely the inspiration for today’s gift guide.  On the cool-meter they are a 10, and they know it.  They have been working on their wish lists for a little while now, and it is so interesting to see what they ask for and admire; generally it is a mix of clothes, toys and things don’t actually exist.

Shop: Gummy Bears, Finger Paints, Tee, Spin Art, Yumbrella, Baking Set, Bike, Army Men, Chewbaca, Tights

For this inspiration board I thought of some of the things our niece and nephews really like – bikes, Star Wars, baking, crafts and went old school.  Some of these toys were my favorite as a kid, especially the spin art and the baking set.  Other items just made me laugh and smile – how funny is the Chewbaca hat and how fun is the color it yourself “Yumbrella”?

What I liked most of all about these gifts is that they require lots of creativity and imagination and very few batteries – they are already much better than I am at video games!

What is your favorite gift to give to kids – or maybe your favorite gift you received as a kid?  Tell me in the comments!

Faux Real Evening Accessories: Looks for Less

Usually when a mega-star wears a very specific item it is done – never to be reworn again, not by her or by any other stars.  But, that was not the case with a very special, very stunning Gucci dress.

First, it went down the runway in February.

Gucci Fall 2011

Then it was worn by Jennifer Lopez in March.

Jennifer Lopez 2011 Met Gala

Then in September by Karlie Kloss on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Australia.

Karlie Kloss in Harper's Bazaar

Then Drew Barrymore wore it in the Neiman Marcus Fall ad campaign.

Drew Barrymore for Neiman Marcus

And then most recently Aymeline Valade wore it on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Spain.

Aymeline Valade for Harper's Bazaar

When I first saw the dress on La Lopez I la loved it.  I loved the drama of it, the playfulness of the floral shawl, the va va voom of the color.  I, of course, did not like the Gucci-ness of the price.  If you, like me, are feeling la love, why not try a very clever knock off on for size.

The “save” option is from Kate Spade’s sample sale – ends on Tuesday!  The Carnation Garden Scarf is full of volume with bright satin blooms and grosgrain ribbon.  This is a carnation that even Charlotte York McDougal Goldenblatt couldn’t frown on.

Kate Spade Scarf

In the “splurge” category is the plush little number from American favorite, Brooks Brothers.  The Fox Collar Scarf in pink has a sweeping satin ribbon and adds a real touch of glamour.

Brooks Brother's Scarf

In the “savings account” category we have the Leather Clematis Neckpiece from Natalie Brown.  This “scarf” is more art installation than warm and cozy, but isn’t that what fashion aspires to be, anyway?

Natalie Brown Scarf

Would you wrap yourself up in bright blooms this season?  And is it something you would be willing to splurge on?

2011 Gift Guide: Home Edition

With Thanksgiving officially behind us all that remains is some leftover pies, a renewed commitment to working out and a big holiday shopping list!

At some point when you’re a “real adult” the joys of the holiday season extend beyond gift receiving into gift giving.  I have found a collection of favorite gifts for hopefully everyone on your list, at a variety of prices, and this week I will be sharing them all with you.

First up: gifts for home.  If your home is your castle, than the holiday season is the perfect time to gift people with little treats and trinkets that they might not ordinarily splurge on for themselves.

2011: Gifts for the Home

Shop: Napkin, Bowls, Bottle Stop, Throw, Coaster, Candle, Snuffer, Poster, Ornaments

When I found a lot of these gifts it was with a new homeowner in mind.  They are special items that can’t be picked up at Bed & Beyond or IKEA, and can make even the smallest “starter” apartment feel like home.

Great gifts for the new homeowner include art to celebrate the home, ornaments for their first tree or a real menorah, a ultra soft throw blanket to upgrade from their college fleece, luxe kitchen and entertaining trinkets for when the parties graduate from kegger to cocktails.

What is your favorite gift to give for the home?  Tell me in the comments!

Blogger’s Birthday Inspiration

My birthday is in a few days, and it is the one event that will happen without a Thanksgiving theme.  I will not have mashed potatoes, I will not roast squash, I will not talk about Pilgrims or Indians, I will spend it with some of the best people I know (my family) and relax.

I toiled away at what my perfect day might look like, and I figured I have shared so much on this blog already, why not my birthday?

Blogger Birthday, Inspiration

Source: Peonies, Mojitos, Beach, Necklace, Tank, Jeans, Flips, Cupcakes, Bikini, Lilly, Photo, iPhone, Candles, Presents, Sparkle

I am a jeans and tank top girl – I wear them with diamonds and flip flops.  I want to celebrate with sparkle (and sparklers!), I want sand between my toes, the people I love at my side, and flowers in every room.

This has been a very good year, and I am so glad to have been able to share it with you.

What does your perfect (birth)day look like?

Faux Real Jewelry: Looks for Less

I have always, always, always loved a lucky charm, a four leaf clover, except in my case this luck comes in mother of pearl or bright enamel and strung between gold.  Yes, Van Cleef & Arpels, the Alambra is my lucky charm of choice.

In case you weren’t sure, luck doesn’t come cheap – and either does Van Cleef.

There is something about a piece of jewelry worn by Ladies Who Lunch, carpool, and rock the Grammy Awards.  Fans, like me, are as diverse as Reese Witherspoon and Mariah Carey.

Reese Witherspoon

Mariah Carey

In the “save” category is from the very un-French, Target (*Tar-jay if you’re fancy).  This clover necklace is actually fairly close to the aesthetic of the original.  It appears, at least online, to be very delicate, and gotta love that shine.

Clover Lover: Target

In the “splurge” category we have the Jardin Black Agate Clover Necklace from every fashionista’s discount site, BlueFly.  The VC&A original also comes in enamel colors, as shown on Reese, and so this comes pretty close and for a fairly good price.

Clover Lover: BlueFly

In the “savings account” category we have the Van Cleef & Arpels original, the Alhambra.  The sparkle, the shine, the ooh la la straight from France to your neck – or mine.

Clover Lover: Van Cleef & Arpels

Do these sparkly goods make your eyes shine, too?  And is it something you would be willing to splurge on?

Dream Home: Mediterranean Edition

Last time we talked real estate I shared with you, you’re welcome, the best big city loft.  The loft was fabulous, obviously.  But, my true favorite style of house is a cross between Spanish and Mediterranean.

This style is fairly common is South Florida and California.  It should not be confused with “Tuscan” and should not feature an abundance of gold, marble columns, etc.  It should never be confused for “inspired by Macaroni Grill” not should it have any resemblance to anyone’s home on the Real Housewives of New Jersey series.  It should be natural, open, airy, organic – and obviously, fabulous.

I haven’t found “the one” but how fabulous are these details?

Curved and Iron Windows via Design Sponge

Great Great Room via CocoCozy

Curved Entryways via Design Sponge

Backyard via Pinterest

What I love: There are a few consistent details that always call out to me on this style of homes.  I love the tiled roof, the natural stone floors, the pastel kissed stucco walls, the curved  entryways and windows, irons details, floral vines, I could go on forever.

The other benefit of this style of home is its ability to play nice with others.  Because it has a world-traveled aesthetic it perfectly cool with making friends with other new and old and far and near accessories.

Do you have a city home/apartment style?

*Also, it is my birthday this week, so expect for more “my favorite things” style posts than usual!

(Next) Weekend Wardrobe: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is less than a week away!  It is actually my most favorite holiday of the entire year and for good reason.  If you’re lucky, like me, the food and company are both great.  I love the fall season because it is a perfect opportunity to entertain, cook great food, and look fabulous at the same time.

This week’s Weekend Wardrobe post gives you ample time to plan ahead for Thanksgiving, much like you would/should for your menu!

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving you have a serious job on your hands, and the day is definitely requiring of two looks: one for when your company is in tow and you are the “hostess with the mostest” and the other for when your home quiets down and all you hear is the quiet hum of a dishwasher.

Weekend Wardrobe: Thanksgiving Day and Night

Shop Day: Apron, Dress, Dish, Bracelet, Boots
Shop Night: Shawl, Leggings, Mask, Rolaids, Cup, Slippers

What is great about this set, if I do say so myself?  For Thanksgiving Day a printed wrap dress is a mask for all sins, including when gravy slips off your fork and onto your bust, and for that extra serving of pie.  Also, if you’re wearing a heel a thick and sturdy one like on these boots keeps you from teetering over.

For Thanksgiving Night, when the only thing left to do is watch the Dolphins and Cowboys game and sit with a cup of tea, the look is all about comfort.  However, comfortable can still be cute, especially with friends and family in town who are likely to stop by to say hello.

Wishing you a very stylish Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Recipes: The Best of the Web

Thanksgiving is just over two short weeks away and what better time to try new recipes than a holiday that is almost entirely focused on food?

We spend with a casual feast and a huge crowd of family and friends. Everyone signs on to bring a dish or many dishes and just as quickly as they are put out they starts to disappear.

In years past I have always left the cooking to my mom, but this year I am excited to try some new recipes.
Here are some of my favorites:


Source (L-R): Caramel apples, Roasted Squash, Biscotti, Meatballs, Hand Pies, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower

I love the idea of mixing savory with sweet, and the fall produce that is featured during Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity.

I love the saltiness of cheddar paired with a crisp apple, the tartness of cranberries with a perfectly seasoned turkey, fresh aromatic herbs with the depth of autumn squash.

What are your Thanksgiving favorite recipes?

Whether you’re ordering in take-out Chinese, have a Whole Foods Thanksgiving, or hostessing like Martha, I hope you have a delicious, simple and stress free Thanksgiving!

Key (Lime) to My Heart, Miami Wedding Inspiration

You can take the girl out of South Florida, but you really can not take the South Florida out of the girl.  The colors, flavors, the sounds, the history were all influences for this city chic wedding inspiration board.

Miami Wedding Inspiration

Source: Dress, Venue, Garland, Grapefruit, Lemon, Citrus, Cake, Tequila, Mojito

For the ceremony I was inspired by clean lines and wanted to capture the quintessential lounge vibe of South Beach.  For the bridal gown, the emphasis was on old Miami glamor and the Art Deco era aesthetic.  Otherwise, the Miami inspired wedding is all about color, and doing away with the rules.  Bright colors and mismatched maids, mini foods, bold bites, bright flowers and citrus punch.

This inspiration board is as playful as it is sophisticated.  I think it translates to wedding look that is on trend, without being trendy.

Does this make you ready for a beachy vacation?  Table for two, Nobu.

Where to Live: Part 2

Last week I posted the beginning of a debate on where to live.  Is life better in the city, or the country, etc?  And then this past weekend as I was wandering the aisles of the Internet I discovered this very clever crowd sourced answer to that debate via Travel & Leisure magazine.

T & L readers rated America’s top cities in a variety of categories and then you can compare them online and find out which city wins in a face-off.

Because I am sucker for cool infographics, and online games of this nature, I played with this for a while.

I compared where I currently live to where I grew up, and in a rare moment of city excellence, DC won…

If you’ve lived in, or visited, a number of these cities it is really interesting to see how the general public views your town and if your own opinions match up.  For instance, DC is tech savvy and Miami is style savvy.

Fun little way to look at the best and worst of each city.