Friday, December 31, 2010

Two Thousand Eleven

{photo via limite magazine}

New Year's Eve Resolutions: sip a glass of bubbly and kiss a potential suitor at the stroke of midnight. Let's start 2011 on the right foot!

I hope you all have a fanciful evening and best wishes for the new year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Check Mate

My last purchase of 2010 was completely unplanned: a $1,890 Carolina Herrera frock on Gilt this morning for only $119.

A sartorial item that retails for more than my rent, purchased at a price lower than my weekly grocery budget ... I can finally check that one off my 2010 wish list. Phew!

Now I just need a fabulous soiree for its debut.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
Gold Python Journal, Jayson Home & Garden, $15
Beaded Chiffon Top, Forever21, $19.80
Stud Earrings, Aldo, $20
Spike Ring, Alex and Ani, $20
Sequin Wallet, Forever21, $12.80

Monday, December 27, 2010

{ DIY } Shoe Clips

I don't know how our grandmothers did it; clip-on earrings hurt! But if you're a vintage jewelry aficionado like myself, you've also amassed a sizable collection. And it hasn't been by choice. A handful accompanies nearly every jewelry win at an estate auction and antique stores insist that you can't break up a matching set ... even if it's just the bracelet you fell in love with. Since those baubles aren't going anywhere near my earlobes, I'm using them to adorn my New Year's Eve heels.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

{image via Department of the Interior}

I hope you all have a very merry holiday season!

Over the interstate and through the woods to grandmother's house I go to overindulge in holiday cocktails and Christmas cookies. After the Christmas Eve festivities, I'm heading to my parents' house to see what Santa left under the tree. I wish you all the best this holiday. Safe travels, my friends!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

{ outfitted } Ski Lodge Chic

Old Man Winter and I are looking into a divorce. We were getting along fine for the first 26 years of our relationship, but I've reached the end of my rope this year. Slipping on the ice, cars getting stuck in snow, salt stains on my pants ... well, I'm tired of it. And just when I'm about ready to book a flight to a warm locale, I reconsider my wardrobe. I don't think I could ever retire knits and wool in favor of a bikini (but feel free to twist my arm).

Outfit Notes: Sweater - J.Crew*; Earrings - J.Crew; Bag - Foley & Corinna via a giveaway on MyFDB; Skirt - Max Studios; Tights - Simply Vera by Vera Wang; Bracelet - Melinda Maria**; Shoes - Jeffery Campbell

*If you're considering this sweater, go down a size. I'm wearing an XS and I'm a size 6.
**Carrie at This Free Bird is currently featuring a Melinda Maria coupon code for 30% off. Head to her blog for the details. (And follow her blog because she's all kinds of fabulous.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday Treats ... Literally

Last weekend, I spent a staggering $70 on baking ingredients. And if you peeked into my grocery bags, you'd quickly realize that I dropped nearly $100 on candy: milk chocolate, white chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, granulated sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar. All in the name of Christmas. I've since been slaving over a hot cookie sheet, cranking out dozens of holiday cookies. Just two more treats remain before I can hang up the apron for another year.

What's your favorite holiday treat? Share your recipe!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Currently Coveting

{one-shoulder tops}

{tinseled wreaths}

{holiday brights}

{mistletoe kisses}

{bejeweled fingers}

Outfit Notes: Top - The Limited; Earrings - Marc by Marc Jacobs; Clutch - Banana Republic; Bracelet - Vintage; Rings - Forever21

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Deck the Mantel

Digging into a stocking on Christmas morning has been one of my favorite traditions for one reason: immediate gratification. Growing up, my brother and I had to patiently take turns unwrapping one gift at a time to allow for ample photo ops. It's great for family photo albums. It's torture on a child.

This year, I'm yearning for a stocking filled with luxe indulgences.

See what's in my dream stocking at La Vie ... J'aime.

Window Shopping

I'm happy to say that I've finished my Christmas shopping with a few days to spare. This year was exceptionally easy: I took it to the Internet and dodged the Christmas crowds. If you're still in need of a special gift, may I suggest a few drool-worthy items from our sponsors? (Don't forget to check the sidebar to see what discount codes are available!)

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
KM2 Shoes, Stella Pumps, $250
Wendy Mink Jewelry, Diamond Lapis Cluster Earrings, $195 $165.75 with code
GlassesUSA, Romeo Gigli 1017 Frames, $89 $75.65 with code

Friday, December 17, 2010

{ gift guide } Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
Vintage Book, Jayson Home & Garden, $48
Rhinestone Key Chain, Kate Spade, $50
Pyramid Stud Earrings, Juicy Couture, $48
Dress, ModCloth, $47.99
Brooch, Forever21, $5.80
Peanut Key Chain, Carl Auböck, $29.75 (on sale)
Hand Warmers, Juicy Couture, $36 (on sale)
Horn Serving Set, Jayson Home & Garden, $35*
Polka Dot Pillow, West Elm, $34 (free shipping today)
Black Truffle Almonds, The Squirrel Brand Co., $26
Lotus Candle Holder, CB2, $14.95
Bud Vase, CB2, $8.84/set of 3

*After I completed this list, I realized that the serving set is only $15 on Gilt today! Totally worth it. Sign up here if you need an invite.

Have you completed your holiday shopping?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

{ gift guide } My Wish List

I was thisclose to be disowned by my mother last week. Despite weeks of inquiries, I still hadn't decided what to include on my own holiday wish list. Many coveted items I'd just buy for myself because I'd feel too guilty asking for an indulgent item. After all, what parent really wants to spend $200 on a cocktail ring that's made from base metal? Here are the more reasonable gifts I hope to find under the tree. (And I'm sure I'll regret not even asking for those Miu Miu's after the new year.)
  • Square Plates: I've been using my parents' old dinnerware since college. Definitely time for an upgrade. (However, I won't opt for the square bowls - those feel too pompous.)
  • Cozy Cardigan: The zipper on this one makes me especially happy; it can go as high or as low as you'd like.
  • YSL Arty Flower Ring: This might be my tax return splurge.
  • Culinary Torch: New Year's resolution: learn to make creme brulee.
  • Flap Mittens: I finally caved and purchased an iPhone after my Razr met an untimely demise. I'm addicted. And tired of taking my gloves off each time I want to play with it.
  • Luxe Bottle Opener: Making beer classier one bottle cap at a time.
  • Glam Coin Purse: Truth be told, I already ordered this for myself.
  • Christmas Ornament: A new bauble bedecks the tree each year.
  • Quirky Dessert Plates: Let them eat cake!
  • Marc by Marc Jacobs Sunglasses: I asked my brother for these since he's the only one I know who splurges on eyewear.
  • Rhinestone Bracelet: I'm transitioning from statement necklaces to statement bracelets ... even if they make typing obnoxious.
  • Beijing Travel Guide: There's a 85% chance I'm visiting China in June. More on that later.
  • Mad Men on DVD: I just finished watching Weeds on DVD and I'm in desperate need of another show to obsess over in the off season (even if I caught most of the shows when they aired).
But, most of all, I'm wishing for Christmas greetings from loved ones - and enough sweets to send me down a diabetic path.

What's on your holiday wish list?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

{ gift guide } The Glam Gal

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
Passport Cover, Graphic Image, $65
Black & White Cookie Ornament, Landmark Creations, $45
Peacock Ornament, Gump's, $16.99 (on sale)
Art Deco Ring, Elizabeth and James, $135
Cocktail Ring, Forever21, $5.80
Martini Glasses, BAR Collection, $54/set of two
Pencils with Rhinestone Detail, DiVoga, $14.99/set of 9
Candle, Annick Goutal, $65
Bird Skull Ring, Rachel Roy, $48
Feather Paperweight, Match, $37
Sequin Clutch, Kate Spade, $97 (on sale)
Makeup Brush Set, Bobbi Brown, $90
iPhone Cover, Kate Spade, $40*
Pineapple Bowl, Jayson Home & Garden, $32
Earrings, Janna Conner, $65

*Unfortunately, this cover is now sold out on the Kate Spade site. A few options come up via the Google shopping search.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

{ gift guide } The Homebody

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
Pillow Cover, John Robshaw Textiles, $75
Drawer Knob, Anthropologie, $8
Lambswool Blanket, Design Within Reach, $150
Vase, Kate Spade, $75
Match Holder, Eddie Bauer, $29.50
Desk Lamp, Ethan Allen, $299
Calendar, Jack and Lulu, $48
Agate Cheese Plates, Jayson Home & Garden, $60 - $75
Books, Penguin Classics, $13.60
Teacup and Saucer, welovekaru, $35
Antique French Key, Jayson Home & Garden, $8
Shea Orchard Daily Duo, L'Occitane, $25
Pie Plate, Emile Henry, $34.95
Sea Glass Earrings, Coldwater Creek, $9.99 (on sale)

Monday, December 13, 2010

{ gift guide } The Snow Bunny

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
Icicle Ornaments, Jayson Home & Garden, $36/set of 15
Tuxedo Pearls Graduated Necklace, Kate Spade, $245
Cool Jewels Ice Tray, Perpetual Kid, $6.99
Snowflake Brooch, Dillard's, $25
Cake Pan, Wilton, $30.95
Snow in a Can, Bibelot, $4.50
Shea Butter Nail & Cuticle Cream, L'Occitane, $18
King Penguin Chicks, Schleich, $3.99
Apatite Green Drops, Wendy Mink Jewelry, $69
Metallic Cosmetic Case, Kate Spade, $70
Snowflake Ring, Betsey Johnson, $55
Faux Fur Wrap, Dillard's, $34
Boots, Sorel, $130
Mittens, Kate Spade, $65
Bracelets, Alexis Bittar, $295 each

Thursday, December 9, 2010

{ winner } $45 CSN Gift Certificate

Congratulations to Lydia of Chic on the Cheap!

Thank you all for entering - your continued support and readership make these giveaways possible! And my sincerest thanks to CSN Stores for sponsoring this giveaway!

If you'd like to partner with Style Obsession on a giveaway, please e-mail

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

{ gift guide } The Gardener

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
Floral Cami, Ella Moss, $87.99 (on sale)
Watering Can, Gardman, $16.39 (on sale)
Birdcage Necklace, Kate Spade, $125
Trowel Ornament, Sears, $6.99
Bird Feeder, Eva Solo, $50.99
Bird Stud Earrings, Marc by Marc Jacobs, $48
Lotus Serving Set, Michael Aram, $59
Twig Pencils, Amazon, $1.99 each
Garden Stool, Gump's, $295
Gardenia Soap, Fresh, $12
Floral Earrings, Tinley Road, $24
Lattice Cuff, Lilly Pulitzer, $68
Leaf Tray, Michael Aram, $32-85

Monday, December 6, 2010

{ gift guide } The Seafarer

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
Crab Necklace, Alex Woo, $158
Hand Towels, Thomas Paul, $48
Bikini Top and Bottom, Diane von Furstenberg, $135 and $125
Shorebird, Brass Binnacle, $18.95
Knot Doorstop, Jayson Home & Garden, $35
Swimwear Care, The Laundress, $8
Piper Bobby Pins, Kate Spade, $45
Piper Cosmetic Case, Kate Spade, $60
Beach Fragrance, Bobbi Brown, $55
Straw Tote, J.Crew, $42.50
Anchor Key Chain, Pelican Bay Nautical Gifts, $17.95
Shell Dish, Jayson Home & Garden, $44
Shell Ornaments (set of 4), Wisteria, $49
Starfish Pendant, Target, $24.99

Friday, December 3, 2010

{ gift guide } The Label Lover

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
Umbrella, Diane von Furstenberg, $45
Eye Shadow Duo, MAC, $19.50
Alexander McQueen by Kristin Knox, $29
Buckle Gem Bracelet, Marc by Marc Jacobs, $88
Twirl Rollerball Fragrance, Kate Spade, $18
Cami and Short Set, Juicy Couture, $52.50 (on sale)
Coin Purse, Rebecca Minkoff, $48
Jingle Bell Earrings, Kate Spade, $45
Mini Bag, Rebecca Minkoff, $125
Picture Frame, Kate Spade, $35
Cocktail Ring, Rachel Leigh, $80
Silk Twilly, Hermes, $130

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

{ gift guide } The Chic Chef

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
Chocolate Mousse Mix, Crate & Barrel, $9.95
French Grey Sea Salt, Williams-Sonoma, $7.95
Fortune Cookie Necklace, Jessica Elliot, $75
Moroccan Olive Oil, Crate & Barrel, $10.95
Toile Cupcake Liners, Fancy Flours, $4.50
Chopping Board, Crate & Barrel, $44.95
Leather Bottle Opener, Jayson Home & Garden, $16
Cake Stand, Julia Knight, $90
Bakers Twine, Crate & Barrel, $7.95
Jingle Bell Picks, Crate & Barrel, $9.95
Pear Salt Cellar, Jayson Home & Garden, $45
Wine Bottle Coaster and Stopper, Michael Aram, $89.99

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

{ gift guide } The Wanderlust

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
World Traveler Mug, Kate Spade, $20
World Map Pillow, Ferm Living, $110
World Traveler Calendar, Anthropologie, $21.95
Jewelry Case, Lauren Merkin, $85
Patent Luggage Tag, Coach, $42
Paris Magnets, ModCloth, $11.99
Giselle Suitcase, Diane von Furstenberg, $121.99
Cartographer's Cultured Knob, Anthropologie, $10
Matryoshkas Measuring Cups, ModCloth, $14.99
Newbury Passport Cover, Lauren By Ralph Lauren, $48
Travel Tin Candle, Votivo, $11

Monday, November 29, 2010

{ giveaway } $45 CSN Gift Certificate

I know, I know, it's technically the season of giving. But who deserves a treat more than you? The generous team at CSN Stores is giving away a $45 gift certificate to one Style Obsession reader. This is the perfect time to pick up one of those leather messenger bags you've been aching for or a little something to spruce up your home. Here are a few of my favorites:

Pictured clockwise, starting from upper left: Dwell Studio Chinoiserie Pillow ($46.40); GEM Aluminum Push Pins ($4.22); Lazy Susan Finial Containers ($24 - $36); Twinkle Living Lego Pillow ($50); Lazy Susan Bird Container ($24); Nuance Waiter's Tools Decorative Olive Sticks ($19.95); Alessi Marli Bottle Opener ($27); DwellStudio Gate Java Coasters ($22.40)

{ Win a $45 gift certificate to CSN Stores! }

The Details
The entry period runs through Wednesday, December 8. The winner will be announced the following day. Note: CSN only ships to the United States and Canada.

Mandatory Entry
Become an official follower of Style Obsession via Google Friend Connect, Google Reader or Bloglovin'. You must leave your e-mail address or blog URL so I can get in touch with you if you win.

For Additional Entries
Leave a separate comment for each of the following:
  • Blog about this giveaway (please provide link in a separate comment)
  • Follow @style_obsession on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway (please provide link in a separate comment)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50: Black Friday Edition

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
Jewelry Fashions, Multi Chain Statement Necklace, $38
Chinti and Parker, Cotton-Jersey Dress, $48.75 (on sale)
Kate Spade, Larabee Dot Coin Purse, $50
Arden B., Glitter Pump, $34.30 (on sale)
White House Black Market, Crystal Button Earring, $28

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

{photo via DigsDigs}

Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!

And don't get trampled on Black Friday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)
Forever21, Knit Dress, $12.50
J.Crew, Studded Anklets, $6.99 (on sale)
Forever21, Multi-Chained Beaded Necklace, $8.80
Avon, Wrapped Around Your Finger Ring, $9 each
PacSun, Pyramid Stud Earrings, $5.50 set of three

Monday, November 22, 2010

{ holiday 2010 } Twinkle Toes

What's the holiday season without a little sparkle? Nothing is more festive than kissing under mistletoe and clinking glasses of champagne in a pair of glittering shoes. Here's to a Cinderella moment this holiday. Cheers!

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Steve Madden, Caryssa Glitter Platform Pumps, $129
Kate Spade, Charm Heels, $325
Kate Spade, Flash Ballet Flats, $125
Gap, Glitter Ballet Flats, $49.50
Badgley Mischka, Kiss Kiss Heels, $200
Miu Miu, Glitter Oxford, $585
Arden B., Glitter Pump, $34.30 (on sale)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

{ inspiration board } Mad for Plaid

Perhaps it's the centuries-long tradition of tartan, or just the well-styled J.Crew fall collection, but there's no denying the classic appeal of plaid.

{ fast facts }
  • "The English word tartan is derived from the French tiretain. This French word is probably derived from the verb tirer in reference to woven cloth." {source}

  • "The word plaid, derived from the Scottish Gaelic plaide, meaning "blanket," was first used of any rectangular garment, sometimes made up of tartan, particularly that which preceded the modern kilt. In time, plaid was used to describe blankets themselves." {source}

  • "Tartan may be mostly associated with Scotland, however the earliest evidence of tartan is found far afield from the British Isles ... some of them were recently discovered remarkably preserved in Salzburg, Austria." {source}

  • "It has been estimated that there are about 3,500 to 7,000 different tartans, with around 150 new designs being created every year. With four ways of presenting the hues in the tartan – modern, ancient, weathered and muted colours – there are thus between about 14,000 recognized tartan variations to choose from." {source}

{ shopping list }

Leave the flannel shirts to the men. Add a dose of plaid to your closet through undeniably feminine silhouettes like this dress - perfect for work and holiday soirees. A glam clutch or classic pumps can subtly enhance your ensemble. You can even add a touch of tartan to your make-up bag with eyeshadow stamped with the iconic print.

{inspiration images via Desktop Nexus, The Independent, Market Publique, Harper's Bazaar, The Fashion-y Blog}

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holiday Giving

A few months ago, I was strolling through the aisles of our local hardware store and stopped in my tracks. I was confronted with rows of tinsel, smiling Santas and glitzy ornaments. It was 80 degrees outside and I was still wearing shorts. But you know what? I loved it. I can't get enough of premature holiday celebration.

When Aimee of Chic 'n Cheap Living asked me to be part of her Blogger Holiday Gift Guide, I jumped at the chance. After all, I've had visions of sugarplums dancing in my head since August.

{ Fit for a Fashion Fiend }
  1. Crate and Barrel, Crystal Beaded Pillow, $49.95
  2. Kate Spade, Jingle Bells Key Fob, $50
  3. Jayson Home & Garden, Scaled Leather Bottle Opener, $16
  4. Janna Conner Designs, Handcuff Necklace, $40.50
  5. Juicy Couture, Flower Cocktail Ring, $78
  6. Modcloth, Gazing at Giza Dress, $67.99
  7. J.Crew, Sequin Minaudière, $128
  8. Kate Spade, "This Year I Will" Idiom Bangle, $48
  9. Wendy Mink Jewelry, Chain Tassel Dangles, $105
  10. Hermes, Twilly, $130
  11. Anthropologie, 100 Years of Fashion Illustration, $40
  12. Emily Elizabeth Jewelry, Shimmer Star Stud Earrings, $70

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Forever21, Slubbed Snap Button Tunic, $17.80
Target, Beaded Coin Purse, $10
Rhinestone Elastic Bracelet, $13.80
Glimmer Duo Ring Set, $4.80
Suedette Heels, $18.80

Monday, November 15, 2010

Status Update

When I started this blog, I never expected it to be a source of support in a desperate time of need. Thank you. I'm grateful for the sweet comments, Tweets and e-mails over the past week - I can't even begin to tell you how much each one means to me. I promise to respond to everyone, but it is taking longer than expected. I can only get through one or two a day without breaking down.

That's precisely what's hard about this situation: I never know when I'm going to be left sobbing. I'll brush my teeth and let my mind wander. The next thing I know, my face is twisted in pain and tears are streaming down my cheeks.

And, let me tell you, it's been hard to keep myself distracted every minute of every day. I spent most of the weekend curled up in pajamas, clutching a cozy throw and sipping coffee. I've made it through countless crossword puzzles, read two books and learned the lyrics to a new C.D. When I ventured out, I wandered aimlessly throughout stores and purchased a bracelet I didn't need. I haven't been able to eat and have lost five pounds in the past week - not exactly the weight-loss kickoff I expected.

But, I am doing better. I just never thought I'd be this excited for the dawn of another work week and the salvation it brings.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

{ winner } KM2 Shoes

Congratulations to Emmett Katherine of Love of Lace!

Thank you all for entering - your continued support and readership make these giveaways possible! And my sincerest thanks to KM2 Shoes for sponsoring this giveaway!

If you'd like to partner with Style Obsession on a giveaway, please e-mail

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Breaking Up

You all have been an amazing support group and I feel like I owe it to you to explain why I'm suddenly absent from the blog. Nate and I ended things just shy of our four-year anniversary. I'm a wreck. I can't breathe. I feel like everything is crumbling around me. And I'm even hesitant to post this because it makes it all more real. It would have been easier if we fought, but we didn't. We're still in love with each other, but neither one of us thinks we're "the one" for each other. He's perfect. Just not perfect for me. And I really wish he was.

I can't stop crying.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

ModCloth, A New Angle Dress, $49.99
ASOS, Aviator Sunglasses, $20.69
Rebecca Minkoff, Loop Bracelet, $48
Gorjana, Westerly Stud Earring, $35
Arden B., Glitter Pump, $34.30 (on sale)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

{ giveaway } KM2 Shoes

Not only is Katelyn Gelber of KM2 Shoes one of the sweetest girls I know, she's also one of the most generous. I'm sure you all remember the shoes we swooned over yesterday. Well, one lucky girl is going to win a pair of KM2 Shoes in the style of her choice!

The Details
Open to everyone - even international readers! The entry period runs through Friday, November 12. The winner will be announced the following day.

Mandatory Entry
Browse the KM2 Shoes website and tell me which pair you'd love to own! You must leave your e-mail address or blog URL so I can get in touch with you if you win.

For Additional Entries
Leave a separate comment for each of the following:
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