Friday, March 29, 2013

90's Throwback

Little-known fun fact: I was a huge grunge kid growing up. We're talking a solid three years of my life that were dedicated to plaid flannel shirts, wallet chains (yes, this really happened), ripped jeans, Kool-Aid dyed hair (also really happened, and it would make my hair smell like cotton candy) & lots of Nirvana and various other Sub Pop records artists. Naturally, my inner 13-year-old was ecstatic when I saw this tee at Forever 21 and I'm pretty sure I wore it for almost a week straight (in true grunge kid style). At least I wore lipstick & some shiny rose gold jewelry this time, right?

Coat, Zara | Tee, Forever 21 | Necklace, Forever 21 | Jeans, Hudson
Bracelets, Sequin | Shoes, Steve Madden | Lipstick, NARS in Funny Face

*I am aware that for some reason, I look slightly pregnant in these photos and I would like to point out that I am absolutely not. It was frigid when we took these photos so I had a tank under my tee for extra warmth and the layers stuck together, which I would NOT normally do. 

Thanks for taking my pictures, Jessica!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dream Home: Melbourne Apartment

Lisa Breeze is a Melbourne based architect who lives in a 60's-era apartment filled with flea market finds & plenty of storage space (think shelves, cabinets, and lots of tables). I love the vintage touches set all around a clean, bright space. Updated cabinets and window treatments keep it all from feeling too dated. Also, the sink in the bathroom? My new favorite thing-hello, aqua tiles!


Now, that's a garden/patio I could spend some serious time in. To view the rest of her home tour & read more about her space, check out the entire article on Design*Sponge.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Getting Inspired: Black & White Fashion

I started a seasonal deep cleaning of my wardrobe over the weekend to take inventory of what I have and don't have for the upcoming months, along with getting rid of things I haven't worn in ages (I am really, really bad at this, FYI). These seasonal cleanings are also a springboard for getting inspired or trying new trends, as most of us have all the right pieces, we just haven't seen them together yet (or, if you're like me, you have little closet space so everything gets buried in stacks & you completely forget about things you own. Who even knows what shoes are hiding under my bed). 

Black & white is a popular, easy to pull off trend for spring but one that's harder for me to try, because in case you haven't noticed I have a slight love of wearing as many brights as I can. I'm trying to remind myself that wearing neutrals or muted colors can be just as fashionable and the above images are perfect inspiration! I'll add my color with a bright accessory or punchy lip color instead.

all images via


Thursday, March 21, 2013


Happy spring! I think, anyways. I'm pretty sure someone didn't let NYC (or Iowa, for that matter) know about its impending arrival as it's still far too cold out and the ten day is dashing any raised hopes I could have. This colorblocked pants & top duo came out for a day of meetings at the office, and look-I'm wearing real heels! (I own a lot but I never have much of a reason to wear them as my office is pretty casual.) This isn't the first time I've styled a mint & mustard color combo, either. Check out how I wore it last fall here.

 (side note-my hair looks so BLONDE! I can't wait for summer.)

Coat, Zara (last fall) | Top, Target | Pants, H&M | Necklace & Bangles, Sequin
Ring, Silpada | Shoes, Ellen Tracy (similar) | Lipstick, NARS in Funny Face

Here's hoping if I continue to dress in colors, spring will follow. Although, if the weather followed my dressing patterns, it would always be spring & summer.

Thanks for taking my pictures, Jessica!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Being Grateful

I've gone a little radio silent this week due to an unscheduled trip back home. My grandfather (on the far left in the picture above, at my mom & aunt's wedding in 1982 with my grandmother and his four children) was diagnosed with two different cancers when I was in college and he was lucky enough to pull through. Unfortunately, age has caught up with him and he's been unwell more than well the last year. Sparing you all the mundane and personal details, he went in the hospital last week after respiratory failure and my family all gathered together over the weekend to be with him.

I am headed back to the city today, but I was reminded this weekend of this post I saw on another blog recently and I wanted to take a little time to be grateful.

I am grateful that I have a job that allowed me to come home and be with my family. I am grateful that my grandfather has been lucid and I've been able to spend time with him. Most of all, I am grateful for all the memories I have from childhood, playing at his house with my siblings and cousins, the games we invented, the toys we loved, the plays we put on, the stories he told us. I don't know if I'll get to see him again after I leave today, but the time I've spent home the last few days has meant more to me than anything.

What are you grateful for?


Friday, March 15, 2013

Lust vs Must(s): Holographic Pumps

Bergdorf Goodman was kind enough to send me an email this week featuring these stunning Manolo Blahnik pumps and I immediately fell head-over-heels in lust with them. I've reworked my budget at least a dozen times, but dropping nearly a grand on a pair of shoes doesn't quite fit in with my plan to knock out my credit card debt this year (although I'm still hoping they somehow show up in my wardrobe). 

Instead, I found some good alternatives, including kicks with an edge and another pair with a punch of color, which as you know by now is one of my favorite things.

Must(s) from L to R: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Pretty good timing for shoes to be on my radar, as I'm hitting up the FIT Shoe Obsession Exhibit this weekend.

Happy Friday!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Metallic Threads

I first saw this Dolan jacket when I was home at Christmas, it had just gone on sale but I still couldn't quite justify it after I'd already spent a sizable amount on some other items like my Tracy Reese coat & four pairs of shoes (oops!). Luckily, my sister kept and eye on it and got it for me once it hit a few more markdowns. I am completely obsessed with the metallic threads running the sleeves & the slightly exposed, unfinished zipper. This whole look took a trip down to DC with me after these pics & also spent the night out in Adams Morgan. You can see how I dressed it up a bit here!

Jacket, Dolan (on sale!) | T-shirt, Target | Jeans, Hudson | Jewelry (except rings) Sequin
Shoes, Steve Madden | Lipstick, NARS Matte in Carthage | Nails, OPI Lincoln Park at Midnight


Monday, March 11, 2013

Tata Harper Skincare

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend a master class for the skincare line Tata Harper at one of my favorite NYC stores, ABC Home, led by founder Tata herself. I hadn't tried any of her products but had heard some pretty rave reviews, plus the story behind the company & their all-natural ingredients meant it was a past due introduction.

The class was small and lasted about an hour, which was the perfect amount of time to try nearly every product in her line. She also announced three new serums that will be launching throughout the year. Harper's line currently has a variety of products including cleansers, moisturizes, serums and special treatments, each one with anywhere from one to two dozen-plus active ingredients. 

Tata shared her personal tips and tricks for getting the most out of each product and gave recommendations on what would be better for each person's skin, based on their concerns. We started with each of her cleansers; one, a more gentle formula for sensitive skin (definitely more my type) and the other a scrub made from pink clay and apricot seed kernels that Tata said can be used weekly with a Clarisonic to truly exfoliate; both cleansers are soap-free and don't require water to get going. After that, we tried one of my favorite products, the resurfacing mask, which goes on clear-no scary looking white formula on your skin!-and is great for acne and other dark spots.

A few of the other things we tried included her rejuvenating serum and hydrating floral essence, which she recommends mixing together and applying at the same time, replenishing nutrient complex, both the reparative and rebuilding moisturizers and her aromatic mood treatments, which were formulated as an added bonus to the skincare products. All of her products are scented naturally with floral extracts, making them smell amazing even though their ingredients were chosen based on their benefits, not scent. We also sampled the revitalizing body oil, which came home with me in a full-size bottle that I've been using all week!

Her products are a little more expensive than what I would normally spend, but based on the results I saw immediately following even one application, it's more than worth it! Our skin is one of the most important & oft forgotten things we need to take care of, inside and out. Over time, I'm hoping to incorporate more of her products into regular rotation, especially once some of my more recent skincare purchases run out. If you're interested in trying out the line, I've rounded up a few of my favorites below:

Also, in case you're wondering (and you should be), Tata Harper is currently working on a sunscreen & protectant, so keep an eye out for an announcement on that front! If you want to learn more, visit her site at or ask me a question, I'd love to try to answer it from my experiences or the notes I took during the class.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Gift Giving: Pet Illustrations

Some of you may remember (and by some of you, I mean those of you who have been with me since near the beginning) this post from last fall about the real love of my life-my dog, Mollie. While scouring the web for inspiration one day, I stumbled across the blog Momathon, authored by illustrator Chris Olson, and a doodle she'd done of a dog (you can view it here). 

Having grown up in a house full of animals with lots of canine companions over the years, I immediately contacted her to see if she accepted custom/commissioned requests and we got to work! There are currently four dogs at my mom's house in Iowa, two of which are hers-Zeus and Tigger, my dog, Mollie and my sister's dog, Zoe. Short of going into a sappy story about pets, I'll tell you they're incredibly special to us. There was a lot of back and forth between Chris and I over a few months and I received the finalized artwork from her just before I headed home at Christmas. The holidays were a bit crazy and my mom and I have been working recently to get them printed, framed and on display.

Now, I'm sharing them with you!
Zeus & Tigger


Zoe was the hardest to capture in a sketch, mostly because she never sits still and I didn't have many great pictures of her to send short of asking my sister for one and ruining the surprise! I'm amazed at Chris' ability to capture their expressions and personalities in a simple pen & ink sketch. For comparison I pulled the images that inspired the top two drawings, along with one of Zoe.

If you're interested in commissioning Chris, I cannot recommend her highly enough! To view some more of her sketches, click here. You can also visit her other sites for her design work here and here.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Dream Home: Swedish Vacation House

This 17th-century cottage on the Swedish North Coast doesn't quite look as special on the outside as its serene interiors. Architect Gert Wingardh has added a second story and two annexes, along with a porch facing the sea, since purchasing the home in the early 1990's with his wife all while maintaining the original integrity of the cottage. I've been daydreaming of spaces flooded with soft, natural light now that winter is slowly coming to an end & this home couldn't be a more beautiful example. To read more about the property, its owners & the renovations, click the link at the bottom of this post!

*all images via

Happy Wednesday! Here's to hoping I'm finally kicking whatever illness was dragging me down at the beginning of the week-I have a busy month ahead and no time to waste being sick (especially while the weather keeps getting warmer!).