Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ringing in the New Year

photo via Vintage Culture

Thank you for a wonderful 2009!
I wish each of you a happy and healthy 2010!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Reindeer Games

Before I finished packing, I had to show you what I chose to wear for this year's holiday festivities.

No red and green this year. Instead, my own gift guide heavily influenced my decision to purchase J.Crew's antler tissue tee to pair with a full black skirt. (I wish I took a detail shot of the skirt - it has a subtle plaid pattern woven into the material.)

Happy Holidays!

Shirt: J.Crew; Earrings: J.Crew; Skirt: Ann Taylor; Shoes: Nine West

To Grandmother's House I Go

photo via Martha Stewart

With an impending mix of snow, rain and ice on the radar for Christmas Eve, I've moved up my travel plans to trek across Wisconsin today. I'm planning to spend a week at my parents' house with (*gasp*) dial-up Internet, so I hope you understand why I won't be posting or commenting from Wisconsin's north woods.

I hope you all have wonderful holidays and safe travels! Thank you for making 2009 such a lovely first year in blogging for me!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa Came Early

Last night my boyfriend and I exchanged Christmas presents. Partly because we won't see each other on Christmas day, and partly because we're just too darn excited about seeing each other open gifts.

He did incredibly well this year and I'm thrilled with the thought he put into each gift. But I just have to share my glee over one particular item:

It's a buffalo bone and malachite bracelet from Bougainvillea Boutique. I'll post proper outfits with it soon!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Light as a Feather

I spent the majority of the day breezing through my to-do list. It didn't come without its share of stress, but soft unstructured layers helped me stay relaxed at the office. Well, that and a large cup of coffee.

Necklace: J.Crew; Cardigan: Banana Republic; Feather-Print Cami: Forever21; Ring: Forever21; Skirt: Banana Republic; Tights: Target; Suede Booties: Nine West

Holiday Gift Guide: The Little One

Family traditions are my favorite part of the holidays, including starting on the cocktails a little too early in the day, chattering through the buffet-style meal, and taking family photos in front of the Christmas tree. But I know there's one tradition my young cousins do not approve of: waiting until after dinner to open gifts. They anxiously wait all afternoon, curiously eyeing the presents to see which ones have their names on the tags. (Admittedly, I'll give them each a gift to open early in the day - I'm a bad influence, I know.) Here are some gift ideas for the children on your list.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Moncalin, Pink & Melon Plush Toy, $65
Petit Tresor, Nutcracker Suite Dolls, $12/each
Skip Hop Funky Farmyard, Squeak & Rattle Bunny Mirror, $12.99
A Pink Princess, Light Up Fairy Wand, $12.95
IZ Byer California, Tutu Skirt, $19.60 (on sale)
Hohner, Bluesband Harmonica, $6.50
Wisteria, Derby Critters, $39/set of six
Charm, Jacky Rocking Giraffe, $115
BRIO, 50 Piece Natural Wooden Block Set, $13.98 (on sale)
Tiny Transportation, Trio Airplane, $25
Ohio Art, Etch-a-Sketch, $16.46
Slinky, Slinky, $8
Wisteria, Felt Bird, $8.40 (on sale)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide: The Sportsman

The men on my Christmas list just aren't fashionable - they're Wisconsin men who spend their weekends in the woods or tinkering with tools. Here are some gift ideas that they would appreciate this holiday season.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Filson, Bridle Leather & Stainless Steel Hip Flask, $67.50
Oooms, Wooden USB Stick, $79.80 (on sale)
Arno Bernard, Knife with a Giraffe Bone Handle, $152.07*
Uncommon Goods, Baseball Bat Bottle Opener, $75
Sovereign Code, Kingsley Western Plaid Shirt, $22.49 (on sale)
Williams Sonoma, Monogrammed Beer Mug, $59/set of four
Filson, Small Wool Duffle Bag, $250
eCrater, Silver Playing Cards, $8.88
Uncommon Goods, Golf Ball Bottle Stopper, $25
Wisteria, Black Forest Reindeer Plates, $14.70 (on sale)

*I purchased the Arno Bernard knife for my boyfriend last year - it was a hit. He was like a little boy, carrying around his new toy for days. This year I have a fossilized dinosaur bone knife under the Christmas tree for him.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Cookies

This weekend I slipped on an apron and baked dozens of Christmas goodies. The first few batches disappeared almost as soon as they emerged from the oven. Two stomach aches later, my boyfriend and I were finally able to resist the sweets.

I'm taking the remaining temptation to the office, along with little bags for each person to wrap up a package of his/her favorite cookies.

Sugar Cookies ...

... with Frosting and Sprinkles*

What are you favorite holiday treats?

*I'm picky about my sugar cookie and frosting recipes. I get rave reviews on my family's recipe and I'm happy to share. Just let me know if you'd like it and I'll send it to you.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide: $30 and Under

With only 11 short days left until Christmas, I've already spent countless hours scouring stores for the perfect gifts, leaving my holiday budget nearly depleted. For the last-minute gifts on your shopping list (yourself included), consider any of these budget-friendly items - all ringing in at under $30.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Urban Outfitters, Anchor Charm Necklace with Gift Envelope, $16
Thomas Glenn, Black Ornament with White Stripes, $28.99
J.Crew, Beaded-Antler Tissue Tee, $24.99* (on sale)
Philosophy, Not the Pits Cherry Cola Shower Gel, $16
Uncommon Goods, Coal Bubble Gum, $5
Anthropologie, Decimal Point Tights, $20
Crate & Barrel, Kado Rice Bowl, $5.95
Banana Republic, All-Season Sparkle Bobby Pins, $18
Shu Uemura, 24k Gold Eye Lash Curler, $24

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Daze

Fifteen inches of snow blanketed the Madison area over the last 24 hours. It's a heavy, wet snow that's even causing snow plows to get stuck in ditches - not exactly something my Honda Civic can handle. The upside? My coworkers and I have the luxury of enjoying a snow day when the local school district cancels classes.

While I'm stuck inside, I'm using Mother Nature's white wonderland as inspiration for a cozy winter ensemble.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Arden B., Asymmetrical Drape Cardigan Sweater, $48
Ann Taylor Loft, Faux Fur Neck Warmer, $29.50
Forever21, Feathered Pendant Necklace, $5.80
J.Crew, Wool Duffle Coat, $298
Lauren by Ralph Lauren, Hammered Hoop Earrings, $32
Sorel, Joan Of Arctic Winter Boot, $129.95
Lori's, Fingerless Knit Gloves with Mitten Flap, $24
J Brand, Pencil Leg Jeans, $200

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Wisconsin winters mean one thing: snow. And lots of it. (In fact, our local weatherman called tonight's impending blizzard "epic.") But as much as I disdain the fluffy white stuff, I just adore bundling up in a wool coat. Here's what I wore to brave the elements this morning:

Earrings: J.Crew (Thanks, Anjali!); Fur Scarf: Adrienne Landau; Coat: Banana Republic; Dress: Diane von Furstenberg; Tights: Banana Republic; Suede Booties: Nine West

In other news, I'm thrilled the gift guides are going over so well! I had originally intended to only post five, but I'd love to do more. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide: The Fashionista

Christian Louboutin's Cat Burglar Barbie reportedly sold out on Net-a-Porter the day of its debut, leaving many holiday shoppers without the perfect gift for the fashionistas in their lives. No worries. I have a few ideas for the fashion-loving recipients on your list.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Hermes, Tout en Carré Twilly, $125
Kate Spade, Bourgeois Bow Key Fob, $50
Alexis Bittar, Small Teardrop Necklace, $155
J.Crew, Sequined Starland Tank, $138
Missoni Home, Dalia Rectangular Outdoor Cushion, $165
CC Skye, Pave Knuckle Ring, $175
Lauren Merkin, Card Case, $35
St. Germain, Elderflower Liqueur, $25.98
Marc Jacobs for Waterford, David Wine Glass, $65
Feather Pouf Comb, $9.80
Marimekko, Piccolo Umbrella, $40
Banana Republic, Confetti Hoop Earrings, $36
Estee Lauder,
Golden Alligator Compact, $33

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide: The Next CEO

Don't try to tell your workaholic friend to take time off to relax and pamper herself. She's not going to. Instead encourage her goal to be her company's next CEO and treat her to unique desk accessories she can enjoy while working those late nights, kept company by the glow of the computer screen.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Tibor Kalman/M&Co., Legal Paper Paperweight, $28
Kate Spade, 1-2-3-4 Post-It Pads, $9
Webster's, Fashion Color Dictionary, $180
Jayson Home & Garden, Modern Quill Pen, $32
Blue Tree NYC, Star Handle Magnifying Glass, $65
Page Goolrick, Page 1 Pencil Cup, $35
Anya Hindmarch, Miami Hard Back Business Card Holder, $87.45 (on sale)
Design Within Reach, Heavy-Weight Tape Dispenser, $60
Barnes & Noble, Metal @ Paperweight Zinc Alloy, $12.95
Acco, Gold Tone Paper Clips, $1.99
Lauren Ralph Lauren, Perry Industrial Desk Lamp, $275 (on sale)
The Container Store, Hardwood Pushpins, $2.99

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide: The Hostess

Do you have a social director in your circle of friends? She's the person who loves to host cocktail hour, invites guests over for Sunday morning brunch, and makes new acquaintances feel like old friends. For the hostess in your life, try classic gifts with a quirky twist.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Kate Spade, Classic Kate Playing Cards, $15
Emily Elizabeth Jewelry, Shiny Good Fortunes Necklace, $88
MoMA Store, Half-Pint Creamer, $14
UniFlame, Solid Brass Match Holder, $27.73
Macy's, The Cellar Selene Cake Dome, $29.99
Urban Outfitters, Cupcake Ornament, $10
Kate Spade, Larabee Dot Tidbit Plates, $80
Crate & Barrel, Clio Martini Glass, $9.95
Michael Aram, Bark Ice Bucket, $199
Michael Aram, Twig Tongs, $45
Claus Porto,
Citron Verbena Bath Soap, $16
Jonathan Adler, Penguin Salt and Pepper Set, $44.99

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide: The Romantic

Everybody has at least one hopelessly romantic friend who still watches Cinderella, cherishes albums of photos, and keeps each love letter she's received. Here are some pretty present ideas for the sentimental one in your life:

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Forever21, Side Jewel Drape Necklace, $7.80
Banana Republic, Ballerina Bracelet, $32
Michael Aram, Twig Photo Frame, $109
La Compagnie de Provence, Rose Body Lotion, $26
French Connection, Siouxie Top, $89.99 (on sale)
Tiffany & Co., Tiffany Blue Box Charm, $150
Uncommon Goods, Gold Forget Me Not Ring, $198 (also available in silver for $48)
MoMA Store, Prismatic Bowls, $70
Kate Spade, Pickney Street Rose Bowl, $150
Michael Aram, Bellflower Ornament, $29
Pierre Deux French Country, Moineau Silver Birds, $38
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