Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Finds Under $50

  1. Blouse, J.Crew, $40
  2. Balloon Votive, Mikasa, $14.99
  3. Silver Cuff, Banana Republic, $39.50
  4. "Float On" iPhone Cover, Indie Cases, $33 {found via Design Crush}

Thursday, July 28, 2011

{ window shopping }

Over the last few weeks, I've barely had time to myself - let alone time to shop. I've packed. I've moved. I've cleaned. I've helped a friend move. Phew! But even now, free time is limited. My focus has shifted to the 10-year high school reunion that I fooled myself into thinking would be a blast to organize. It's not. Since there's no time to visit the mall, I'm turning to the Internet for a bit of sartorial sanity - starting with this month's Style Obsession sponsors.
  1. Chiffon Dress, The 1727, $53
  2. Moonstone Topaz Ring, Wendy Mink Jewelry, $35
  3. Vintage-Inspired Eyeglasses, GlassesUSA, $89

{ wish listed } Coach Weekend Tote

I'd forgo my autumn wish list just to add this supple, all-too-perfect, will-get-better-with-age, leather tote to my wardrobe.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

{ wish listed } J.Crew Fall 2011

Nevermind the sweaty, sticky mess of a heat wave we're having. Once J.Crew released its new fall arrivals, I've been meticulously editing my autumn wish list - starting with a sophisticated color scheme of tan and scarlet.
  1. Ruthie Shirtdress, $118*
  2. Resin and Rhinestone Link Neclace, $85
  3. Nora Calf Hair Ballet Flats, $250
  4. School Boy Blazer in Wool Flannel, $188
*I give it about three weeks before this little number is hanging in my closet.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Move It

Phew! So much for Sunday being the day of rest! After four hours of moving 40-some boxes with two very helpful friends, I'm officially a resident of Chez Dave. (You didn't think I'd keep his name a secret forever now, did you?)

Of course moves don't come without annoyances. I arrived at U-Haul promptly at 10 a.m. for a four-hour truck reservation and stood in line with other naive, ready-to-move customers who thought the company would be ready for the onslaught. Nope. After a 30-minute wait, the solo U-Haul employee at the counter grumpily told me my truck was still due back at 2 p.m, despite the long wait to get the keys.

We probably could have met the 2 p.m. deadline if the U-Haul truck actually fit a one-bedroom apartment like it boasted. Instead, we had to make two trips - one to my storage unit across town (there went 40 minutes) and one to his our apartment. Eventually I had to call U-Haul to extend my reservation through the end of the day. It's just money, right?

Keeping spirits high during this ordeal is credited to one thing: a large Diet Coke from McDonald's. After spending a fortune on moving supplies, a storage unit and U-Haul, I'm now $400 poorer. Well, make that $401 after that Diet Coke. (And, yes, that's a box of tights and CDs ... about 70% tights and 30% CDs. Priorities.)

Bacon wasted no time using the boxes as his personal jungle gym. He's going to be sorely disappointed when we finally unpack. I expect mews of unrest.

Success is still smiling after a day of moving. Achy muscles and sweat be darned, I'm living with my boyfriend! Holla! (Note the ever-so-appropriate footwear for moving day.)

Now, will you please excuse me while I head back to my old apartment to vacuum five year's worth of dust.

Monday, July 25, 2011

{ currently coveting }

{ vintage hotel ashtray to hold jewelry in the bathroom }

{ flowering chives }

{ the completion of moving day }

{ that Kate Spade pineapple cocktail ring }

{ Kiva loan to Sana'A in Jordan }

Friday, July 22, 2011

{ cocktail ring } versailles cocktail

Occasion: August Afternoon
Wear: Arty Ring by Yves Saint Laurent ($250)
Sip: Versailles Cocktail via Delish
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 2 oz Remy Martin XO
  • 1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Rim the glass with 24 carat gold flakes.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

{ cocktail ring } raspberry gin fizz

Brunch Banquet
Wear: White Moonstone Diamond Cocktail Ring by Wendy Mink ($222)
Sip: Raspberry Gin Fizz via Just Married and Cooking
  • 1 750ml bottle of gin
  • 2 pints fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Brut Champagne, well chilled
  • Lemon peel for garnish
  • Raspberries for garnish
  1. In an air-tight glass jar, combine the gin, raspberries and sugar. Store in a cool dark place. Turn the jar over once a day to mix the contents, until the gin takes a deep red color, up to a week. Strain the gin and store in a clean glass bottle.

  2. To serve, pour ½ ounce gin (chilled) into the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill the glass with champagne and garnish with a raspberry and lemon twist.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

{ cocktail ring } mint julep

Occasion: Donning a Derby Hat
Wear: Sparklers Praseolite Cocktail Ring by Tiffany's ($975)
Sip: Mint Julep via Delish
  • 8 mint leaves, plus mint sprigs for garnish
  • 1/2 ounce(s) Basic Simple Syrup
  • 2 ounce(s) bourbon, preferably overproof
  • Crushed ice
  1. In a chilled julep cup or fizz glass, muddle the mint leaves and Simple Syrup. Add the bourbon and crushed ice. Set a swizzle stick or bar spoon in the cup and spin between your hands to mix. Top with additional crushed ice and garnish with the mint sprigs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

{ cocktail ring } the fresh sunrise

Occasion: Seaside Soiree
Wear: Round Cabochon Ring by Ariella Collection ($28.90)
Sip: The Fresh Sunrise via Delish
  • 3 lemon wedges
  • 1 teaspoon(s) sugar
  • 4 ounce(s) Alizé Bleu
  • Sparkling wine
  1. Put lemon wedges in a shaker with sugar and muddle. Pour in Alizé Bleu, top with ice, and shake vigorously. Then strain into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.

Monday, July 18, 2011

{ cocktail ring } pog punch

After last week's fixation with piña coladas - or more specifically, that pineapple cocktail ring I ordered immediately after posting - I've been daydreaming of the perfect drink and bauble combinations. And with that, a week of posts was born. Stay tuned for sparkly rings and the cocktails to sip with them.

Occasion: Party in Paradise
Wear: Phillipe the Parrot Cocktail Ring by nOir Jewelry ($175)
Sip: Pog Punch via Marie Claire
  • 1 1/2 parts SKYY Infusions Pineapple
  • 1 1/2 parts fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 part guava puree
  1. In an ice-filled shaker combine all ingredients, shake, and strain into ice-filled scorpion bowl. Garnish with a floating orchid and pineapple. Accessorize with straws.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Finds Under $50

  1. Red Bikini Top, Madewell, $40
  2. Red Bikini Bottom, Madewelll, $38
  3. Striped Jersey Top, J.Crew, $45
  4. Navy Boat Shoes, BC Footwear, $44.95
  5. Anchor Studs, Dogeared Jewels, $36

Monday, July 11, 2011

{ inspired by } pina colada

I've never been much for piña coladas (or getting caught in the rain), but I am in favor of pineapple-inspired accessories. In fact, I still regret not purchasing a silver pineapple I found at an antique store last year. I don't think I can face the same disappointment and pass up this cocktail ring. Perfect for next year's Florida escape? I think so. (And check out how lovely it looks on MMS over at Southern Vogue.)
  1. Pineapple-Hued Sunglasses, Kate Spade, $138 $96
  2. Guilt-Free Piña Colada Recipe
  3. Pineapple Cocktail Ring, Kate Spade, $125 $87

{ currently coveting }

{ lazy days at the pool }

Now that I've submitted a forwarding address to the post office and found someone to sublet my apartment, it's official: I have a new place to call home. Well, that and a mountain of items yet to be packed. Since I'm exceptionally good at procrastinating, here a few thing that kept me from renting that U-Haul.

{ a new shower curtain for our place }

{ can't-live-without-'em summer sandals }

{ an unexpected bouquet of daisies }

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

{ haute household under $25 } bedroom

Today's Haute Household Under $25 post comes from Jessica of Beautify My Life, who found items for the bedroom.
Haute bedroom under $25

Decorating a bedroom is all in the details. In my home, the bedrooms have solid color bedding (chocolate, champagne, etc.) and fairly neutral wall colors that let me add fun touches like these!
  1. Manvi Zebra Print Lamp Collection, $22.97. Animal prints can be overwhelming, but little details like this awesome lamp from World Market add a fun touch to a bedroom. And the best part about a zebra print is that as wild as it may be, it goes with anything, color-wise.

  2. Crate & Barrel Hayward Pillow, $19.95. Lots of throw pillows are a must for a luxe-looking bed (even if men don’t understand their purpose). This green shade is a nice pop of color, but not too girly if you’re trying to mix your taste with your guy’s preferences.

  3. IKEAPuggWall Clock, $19.99. In today’s world of digital everything, it’s nice to have a good old wall clock - both for its practical and aesthetic benefits. This one reminds me of the clocks in every elementary school classroom, but oddly in a good way.

  4. MOR Neroli Clementine Soy Candle, $18. Candles are key to setting the mood in the bedroom, whether you’re feeling frisky (wink, wink) or just looking to unwind. The pretty tin makes this a great bedside table accessory, plus MOR has some of the best scents!

  5. Anthropologie Pretty Pansy Vase, $18. Regardless of your personal style, fresh flowers are one of the best decorating tools you can buy. I usually have a bouquet in our main living area, and then I’ll take a couple of buds to put in smaller vases around the house. This one would be adorable on a bathroom counter or dresser. Or if you’re not good about buying flowers, use it to store your makeup brushes or eyeliner pencils!

  6. Urban Outfitters Modern Branch Jewelry Stand, $24. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that if you hide your jewelry in a drawer or a box, you won’t wear it. So having a way to display your baubles that actually adds to the decor of your room is key. I love the organic look of this jewelry stand that can hold necklaces, bracelets, you name it.
Thanks, Jessica! Be sure to visit her at Beautify My Life!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

{ haute household under $25 } kitchen

Today's Haute Household Under $25 post comes from Kristen of City Coeur, who found items for the heart of the home: the kitchen.

In my opinion, any house or apartment is all about the kitchen. The old saying that the kitchen is the "heart of the home" is completely true - how many times have you found yourself trying to prepare a meal for a holiday or a party while tripping over everyone in the house as they congregate in the kitchen? It's almost as though there is a natural gravitational pull toward the room as soon as the oven is turned on. Although I'm someone who loves the kitchen, mine is of the notoriously tiny New York City-type. But that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice great kitchen items - if all those people are going to be under your feet as you try to cook, you might as well hand them some cute kitchen gadgets to help you out with!

Shabby Chic Wood Chalkboard, $24: This is a kitchen decorating idea that is both cute and practical! I'd use it to keep a grocery list on for everyday, but I might write up a restaurant-style menu when I have company over for dinner!

Eiffel Tower Grater, $21.50: I don't think that kitchen gadgets have to be boring, thus why I am a bit of a sucker for anything kitschy like this. Who doesn't want to daydream about having cheese and wine by the Seine while making Tuesday night dinner?

Floral Apron, $19.99: Some might think that wearing an apron is outdated, but honestly I'm a messy cook. I can think of a few stained shirts and baking injuries (note: don't work with boiling sugar syrup while wearing shorts - it splatters and burns!) that could have been avoided if only I had a colorful apron like this one to save me.

Love Preserve, $15.50: Fauchon is a heavenly food shop in Paris that stocks all kinds of gourmet items in pretty packaging, which thankfully also has a U.S. online store to re-stock at in between visits. A dab of strawberry-rose preserves on your toast will brighten up your morning no matter how much of your kitchen is still packed in boxes!

Passion Fruit Vinegar, $13.99: I think it's important to have something a little unexpected as an option for guests when they come over for a meal. Put out a bottle of passion fruit vinegar among your regular salad dressings, and I'm pretty sure I know what everyone will choose.

Thanks, Kristen! Be sure to visit her at City Coeur or on Twitter @citycoeur.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

{ haute household under $25 } office

Today's Haute Household Under $25 post comes from Laura of A La Mode et Plus, who pulled together ideas for the home office.

Carrie Bradshaw would be the first lady to tell you that there are several important firsts in a single gal's life: that first great kiss, the first time his beautiful lips utter that sweet L-word and the first time your guy sees your apartment. But Ms. Bradshaw failed to mention another very exciting first: the first time your guy gives you a key and invites you to come join him in his bachelor pad - for more than just the night. Yes, ladies, it's a thrilling moment when your guy decides he is ready to wake up with you snuggled by his side every morning and that he can handle your morning breath day in and day out.

But, transitioning from "me" to "we" can also be a little scary. The combining of two lives - or, more accurately, two tastes - can be quite tricky. And remember, if you are the one moving into his previously male-dominated territory, you must approach with caution. Try to contain the urge to immediately tell him all the changes you will make, and instead slowly incorporate non-intimidating items that reflect your own personality.

A home office is a perfect room to start in. You have many options of accent items you can add to the space that won't leave him feeling suffocated in femininity. Leave the pink shag carpet that screams "I am woman, see me take over your space" at home and opt for a classy, neutral mirror with feminine accents instead. The key to office decor is to keep the big pieces in the room gender neutral, and let the accents speak to your inner design goddess. If he wants to keep his plain computer desk and the black carpet, let him. But compromise by hanging a girly print that shows your interests and an embellished lamp to add some lighting to the room.

I know I said to stay away from pink, but since it isn't the dominating force of this print I think you are ok. Plus, he'll be attracted to the humor of the print. It's a fantastic way to remind your guy, and yourself, that you have a life outside of him and interests that are a huge part of who you are. Price: $22

I adore this photo mobile and love that they have hung post cards. I think it is the perfect way to display mementos from trips the two of you have taken together. That way, he feels represented in the room, and he'll have a visual reminder of happy moments the two of you have shared. Price: $18

Do I even need to explain the appeal of Paris? Je ne pense pas! Paris is the eternal city of romance. And a wall calendar is a necessity in any office so you have a place to write down all the important dates in your life - and it's an excellent opportunity to subtly remind him of big days! Price: $3.50

Photo boards are an easy way to add an instant feminine touch to a space, but the yellow and black tones of this board will make it appealing to your guy as well. And don't worry, he really just loves seeing your smiling face. Price: $19.99

A mirror can add so much depth to a space, and the shape of these mirrors is very appealing to the feminine eye. But it isn't a threatening silhouette for a dude, either. Plus, you could spruce these up by painting them an agreed upon bright color to make them a statement piece in the office. Price: $17.49

Ok, so this lamp is slightly over the $25 limit, but forgive me: I can't help myself when I see a sweet, delicate piece such as this! I just have to share. Price: $25.49

Oh and have I mentioned the most important part of moving in together? Simply have fun and enjoy one another! That is why you made this decision in the first place so remember not to let the silly things, such as decorating, come between you. Happy moving in, Jessica, and I wish you and D lots of sweet memories!

Thanks, Laura! Be sure to visit her at A La Mode et Plus or on Twitter @laurachanning.

Friday, July 1, 2011

{ haute household under $25 } living room

Hi everyone! I’m Emily Marie from Sprout Through Concrete.

When I read that Jessica was hosting a guest post series on home furnishings under $25, I was ecstatic. As a 20-something living in Chicago, I know the feeling of needing to decorate on a budget. I recently signed a lease to live on my own for the first time, so my pocketful of change seems to be getting smaller by the minute. Needless to say, I’ve been exploring home décor ideas that are cost effective and easy to do.

I love the indie look of crafting your own space. It creates a very stylish atmosphere that it truly all your own. So, for my section, I’ve chosen to focus on creative DIY ideas for your living room.

Jars are great for everything accessory-based. Flowers? Perfect. Candles? Put ‘em in. Buttons? Start a collection. You can find jars for cheap almost anywhere – a good find online is through Goodmans.


A table is a terrible thing to waste. Solid colors on wood is clean and works in almost any room – but for your living room - why not have some fun and jazz it up your wood table with wallpaper? There are some beautiful designs on Etsy – here are some vintage designs that would complete a middle-table look.

Bonus: Better Homes and Gardens has provided a list of creative things to do with wallpaper. Check out the photo credit for more ideas!


As in any room, lighting sets a mood. The living room is no exception; in fact, it’s probably the most important room to have great lighting in. As the room that houses hang outs, guests and relaxing chats, it’s important to provide a pleasant ambiance.

I’m a huge fan of string lights – they provide subtle creativity to a living room as they are underused and can be hung in so many different ways. I love the referenced DIY light board and unique low-hanging pendant lights above. Target has some cute options for string lights!


A quick way to add some quark is through regular paper. Country Living has a great “how to” for transforming lampshades. A paper-made shade would be adorable on a side table or near a couch. Plus, the flexibility of this option means that if you get tired of the original paper you chose, you can quickly change it up!

Paper source has some lovely papers that would be perfect, like this or this.


With staple pieces like couches and chairs, the living room can be pretty expensive to furnish. But, if you don’t mind hand-me-downs, Salvation Army can hold some gems. My boyfriend and I recently fixed up a cabinet from Salvation Army that cost $25 – and it turned out to be pretty cool. Check out my blog for a run down on how to make a “Creative Cabinet.”

The best thing about thrift purchases is that if you goof on a DIY technique or paint job, no sweat, it was cheap! They’re fun and surprisingly easy to transform.

Thanks so much to Jessica for allowing me to write this post – and to all of you for reading! May all your households be "haute."

Thanks, Emily! Be sure to visit her at Sprout Through Concrete or on Twitter @EmilyMarie703.

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