Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Pottery Barn, Octopus Embroidered Pillow, $49
Piko, Navy & White Stripe Tank Dress, $30
Dooney & Bourke, Cosmetic Bag, $35
Jayson, Knot Door Stop, $35
Urban Outfitters, Anchor Ring, $12

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Save or Splurge?

I don't have to tell you that clogs are making a strong resurgence in the sartorial realm. With wooden platforms, supple leather and nail head details, I can see the appeal. Miu Miu's clog is undeniably luxurious - but has a $495 price tag that not many of us can justify. Luckily, retailers are beginning to release versions inspired by our runway favorites. Steve Madden's pair retains the flavor the luxe version with the curved leather details, but opts for a nude-colored leather that will elongate legs. Will you save or splurge?

I'd also like to take a moment to thank Bren of Chasing Beauty for the Stiletto Award! If you haven't read her blog yet, what are you waiting for? Bren has a knack for singling out amazing beauty products to try.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Easy Bake Oven

Rain clouds blanketed Southern Wisconsin on Saturday, leaving me with only one option: take stock of the kitchen cupboards, then take to the stove.

With mountains of sugar and lumps of butter, oatmeal cookies were just the "healthy" treat I was looking for.

I did add raisins as a healthy complement to the oatmeal - just before offsetting the cookie's redeeming attributes with chocolate chips in both milk chocolate and white chocolate.

The lumps of cookie dough tasted just as good as they look. Raw eggs be damned; nothing comes between me and a morsel of brown sugary, creamy batter.

Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 pound butter (leave at room temperature until softened)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose baking flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
3 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips (optional)
3/4 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well then add to batter.

Stir in oatmeal, raisins and chocolate chips. Mix well.

Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

ASOS, Parrot Ring, $16.91
Forever21, Color Brushed Wrap Dress, $19.80
MAC, Steamy Nail Polish, $12
Crate and Barrel, Set of 6 Party Straws, $4.95
Kenneth Cole, Hammered Stud Earrings, $20

Monday, April 26, 2010

Think Pink

The dawn of spring brings with it a flood of wedding invitations - and the perfect excuse to choose a candy-colored frock for this year's celebrations.

A dress with a cascading silk ruffle, and Grecian-inspired twists at the shoulders.

And a sweetly-alluring back.

Banana Republic Dress; Banana Republic Clutch, Tahari Pumps; Pearl and Diamond Earrings

Dress Sizing: I had been running into sizing inconsistencies at Banana Republic the past few seasons, finding myself in anything from a size 4 to a 10. Much to my surprise, the size 6 (my normal size) fit perfectly in the Sleeveless Drape Dress, but keep in mind that I have a small bust. If you're well-endowed, you'll want to size up. Another tip: this dress has an incredibly low neckline - be sure to invest in the appropriate undergarments. The bottom of the dress glides easily over hips - with enough room left to indulge in a slice (or two) of wedding cake.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gilt-y Pleasure

There are some gorgeous statement rings by Sparkling Sage on Gilt right now, like the dumortierite and tiger's eye versions (above) for only $24 each. I can't decide on which one I love more.

Need a Gilt invite? Click here.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thomas Paul Tea Towels: Winner

When all of the bonus entries were added, we had over 70 entries for the Thomas Paul tea towels - with the octopus and kettle earning top nods for reader favorite.

And the winner is ...

Bren of Chasing Beauty! I'll be contacting you shortly!

Thank you to everyone who entered - and thank you to CSN Stores for making this giveaway possible!

If you'd like to partner with Style Obsession on a giveaway or product review, please e-mail me at

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50: Kate Spade Edition

Need an excuse to purchase a cheerful treat from Kate Spade? You're in luck. Today and tomorrow you can save 30% off any purchase and receive free shipping, thanks to the Kate Spade Friends & Family promotion.

Use the code FRIENDLY30 to receive the discount through the end of the day Saturday, April 24, 2010.

In honor of the sale, here's a Kate Spade Friends & Family edition of Friday Finds Under $50. (I'm dying for the lime wedge coin purse!)

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Tutti Fruitti Dot Small Henrietta Makeup Bag, $60 $42 with code
Galaxy Swirl Glitz Ring, $65 $45.50 with code
Bot Mot Lime Coin Purse, $60 $42 with code
New York Minute Idiom Bangle, $68 $47.60 with code
Clear as Crystal Floral Earrings, $65 $45.50 with code
Jane Street Holly Card Case, $50 $35 with code

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sustainable Style

We've all been blinded by the low prices of fast fashion without concern for the carbon footprint clothing manufacturing leaves behind. While I'm certainly not one to preach about the ills of the fashion industry or dissuade fellow style-hounds from low-price retailers, I do think Earth Day is the perfect reminder to be conscious about our impact on the environment - sartorial or otherwise.

The most eco-friendly shopping spree would involve bicycling to a local thrift store, but I don't have the patience to sift through rows of polyester. Instead, I'll opt for one of these gems:

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Made from organic cotton:
Loomstate, Nicolette Braided Dress, $128
Organic cotton & donates to the World Food Program:
Feed 2 Bag
, $95
Made from reclaimed silver:
Toby Pomeroy, Silver Hoop Earrings, $165
Donates a pair of shoes:
TOMS, Canvas & Grosgrain Slip-on, $85
Made from recycled imbuia wood:
Camila Sarp, Wreath Cuff, $287

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cynthia Vincent for Target

Trips to Target in search of the retailer's latest designer collaboration have become part of my routine - and today was testament to that. Only a few pairs of Cynthia Vincent footwear remained on the nearly-destitute shelf.

My heart was set on the ballet flats with the modernized-technicolor-tribal print, but they sold out online just hours after their debut - and I didn't spy them on the store shelf. To ease my woes, I took a chance on the gladiator wedge.

The wedge definitely looks more expensive than $29.99 (which, let's face it, is the true test of whether or not something is truly a "steal"). The fit is true to size and the pair is surprisingly comfortable with a generous amount of padding in the insole. I wish the incline on the shoe was steeper, but the platform does makes the 4.25" wedge tolerable for gals who shy away from teeteringly high heels. Target missed the boat with the ankle strap, though. It's not adjustable and the width is too large for my ankles.

But my favorite part of the purchase is the packaging: a sunshine yellow box with silver writing. Last year I picked up a pair of Cynthia Vincent shoes and gushed over the cheerful dust bag, so it was a delight to see the color scheme repeated on the boxes.

If you're itching for the cognac wedges and can't find them, don't fret. The L.A. Times blog "All the Rage" reports that Target plans to replenish select styles in mid-May.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Target, Totes Stick Umbrella, $12.99
Banana Republic, Promise Knot Earrings, $19.99
Forever21, Painted Floral Silk Top, $16.90
Windsor, Gold Large Floral Ring, $8.90
Cloth-bound Penguin Classics, The Odyssey, $13.60

Monday, April 19, 2010

Give Me Liberty or ...

The Liberty of London returns must be making their way back to Target. I spotted this blouse on a lonely rack.

Liberty of London for Target Blouse; The Limited Skirt; Tahari Sandals; Banana Republic Clutch; Banana Republic Bracelet

I normally shy away from high necklines, but I'm a sucker for bare shoulders - and that darling keyhole opening in the back. The blouse's classic shape guarantees it a place among my office staples this summer.

And let's face it, it looks oh-so-cute with the Liberty of London mug!

Blouse Sizing: I normally wear a size small, but the medium in this blouse fit perfectly. I needed the extra width at the bottom to glide over my hips when wearing it untucked. For slim-hipped beauties, your normal size should be perfect.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Zrike Co., Set of 4 Dots Mugs, $28 (on sale)
David Aubrey, Turquoise and Gold Earrings, $48
Urban Behavior, Spottie Dottie Dress, $46.99
Kate Spade, A Penny For Your Thoughts Bracelet, $48
Crate and Barrel,
Ziggy Black and White Pillow, $12.95 (on sale)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Inspiration Board: Rock Candy

Sweets have inspired me before, so it's probably not surprising that I'm craving crystalline clusters reminiscent of an old-fashioned favorite: rock candy.

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Noir, Cluster Bracelet, $135
Aqua, Lucite and Chain Bracelet, $38
Megan Greene, Ninotchka Ring in Honey, $128

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Old Navy, Roll-Sleeve Jersey Boyfriend Cardigan, $15.99 (on sale)
Forever21, Dangling Chain Earrings, $4.80
Lands' End Canvas, Cotton Scarf, $19.50
Gap, Colorblock Canvas Tote in Oak, $19.99 (on sale)
Forever21, Grommet Studded Ballet Flats, $17.80

Monday, April 12, 2010

Disco Days

One of my most beloved sartorial items is this vintage dress from my mother's closet circa 1970. I doubt my mom expected her daughter to cherish it - and the cocktail stain at the hem - nearly 40 years later.

Once my boyfriend's house is renovated, I plan to host a summer party on the patio wearing this dress, chandelier earrings and bare feet.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Giveaway: Thomas Paul Tea Towels

Entries Closed. Thanks for participating!

Whenever I'm in search of an item, I'm more likely to turn to the Internet to aid my search efforts than brick and mortar locations. So when CSN Stores contacted me about hosting a giveaway, I was surprised by the array of products it carries: everything from corner TV stands to antique desk globes to gladiator sandals.

I chose to partner with - one of the e-tailers under the CSN umbrella - to bring you a Thomas Paul giveaway.

I'm smitten with Thomas Paul's graphics. So when I stumbled across these tea towels, I knew I had to share them with you - and give one reader a chance to win a pair of Thomas Paul tea towels in the design of his/her choice!

Spruce up your kitchen with a set of towels in one of the following designs: tree, octopus (my favorite), kettle or lighthouse.

The Details
Open to U.S. and Canadian readers. The entry period runs through Friday, April 23rd. The winner will be announced the following day.

For One Entry
Leave a comment below letting me know what design you would choose. You must leave your e-mail address so I can get in touch with you if you win.

For Additional Entries
Leave a separate comment for each of the following:
  • Follow Style Obsession (leave a comment saying you "follow")
  • Blog about this giveaway (please provide link)
  • Tweet about this giveaway (please provide link)
  • Place the giveaway announcement in your blog's side bar (snag the image to the left and link to this entry; then leave a comment with a link to your site)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Lori's Shoes, Light Plaid Scarf, $24
Anthropologie, Molded & Melded Tee, $48
Rosanna, Initial Coffee Mug, $15

Banana Republic, Grecian Column Earring, $35
Thomas Paul,
Luddite Tobacco Pouch in Black, $8

p.s. I have a giveaway coming up next week. Be sure to stop by!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Thank You!

A couple of thank you notes are in order after Lady Luck influenced two giveaways last month.

I'm a sucker for baubles, so you can imagine my delight when I learned these earrings were on their way to me from Susi D. Jewelry (courtesy of a giveaway hosted at The Beauty File). The length of these earrings is uber flattering and the black spinel stone clusters look like micro meteorites - indulging my slightly-nerdy side.

The second package comes from Foxes and Robbers (thanks to a giveaway partnership with Eyeliah of Style Symmetry). Each gift tag is meticulously handmade and undeniably charming. I've already affixed one to a bridal shower gift I'm delivering this weekend!

Thank you!

April Showers

April showers bring cheerful wellies - perfect for puddle jumping. (And you thought the seasonal sprinkles lead to May flowers.)

Do you have a tried-and-true way to beat the rainy day blues?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday Treats Under $20

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Forever21, Braided Strap Maxi Dress, $14.50
Beaded Top Empress Earrings, $8.80
Old Navy, Hammered Cuff Bracelet, $9.50
Target, Mossimo Brown Tote, $10.48
Dark Topaz Crystals Stack Rings, $19.99

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Finds Under $50

(pictured clockwise, starting from upper left)

Anthropologie, Royal Menagerie Knob Stork & Crow, $12 each
Forever21, Jewel Chiffon Blouse, $29.80
Betsey Johnson, Beetle Ring, $45
Old Navy,
Button-Pocket Surplus Shorts, $19.50
Banana Republic,
Flutter Wings Bracelet, $35

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Style Obsession Turns One

photo via Michael Zigmond

A year has passed since I first tested the Blogger waters with this post (riveting, eh?).

I remember the very first comment left on a post (thanks again, Candace Rose!) - and the astonishment I felt when I had my first follower. Twelve months later, I can barely believe 158 people subscribe to Style Obsession in Google Reader. 158 people who read my thoughts - and who I want to get to know better.

It's the sense of community that has me addicted. Amy of Amy's Afternoon Reading recently sent me an e-mail, perfectly expressing what I love about blogs: the chance to meet new people - and create dear friendships.

Without this blog, I wouldn't have had a chance to meet each and every one of you. I've learned more about you through glimpses into your daily life. I've shared in your happy occasions. I've felt pangs of sorrow when a dark cloud makes its way across your radar. Thank you for being part of the community that makes blogging so rewarding.

My sincere thanks for reading Style Obsession. Even though I don't always comment, I do read each of your posts!

And with that, I extend to you the same invitation I extended to Amy: if you find yourself in the State of Wisconsin, please let me know. I'd love to meet you for a drink - or a cupcake! - and chat.

All the best,

p.s. If there is anything you'd like to see more of on Style Obsession, just let me know!

Growing Up with Lisa Frank

In grade school, I coveted Lisa Frank stationery, pens, pencils, Trapper Keepers, and especially stickers. So, you can imagine my glee when I discovered these Nine West pumps. Lisa Frank would be proud.
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