Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Polished Holiday Season

Whew! Lord, help, if the last week didn't just get away from me. The holiday break seemed to, at once stretch on for eaons, while managing to pass in a blink.  It's all downhill from here, beauties, as we move onward towards the main event. And what better way to countdown than a little daily beauty?

A nail-polish-a-day Advent Calendar? Sign. Me. Up. I first spotted this guy on Pinterest, but a quick check at the Nordstrom website showed it was sold out. Luckily, my local Sephora had them in stock, and after racing to the mall after work, so it's at home, just waiting for the clock to strike 12:01AM on December 1st, so I can open the first little door and give myself a fresh coat.

I've always loved Advent Calendars and the act of opening a new door everyday, each day teeming with more and more holiday spirit. This is the perfect way to celebrate a grown-up holiday, while avoiding that chalky chocolate that the standard countdown promises.

The Ciate Mini Mani Month is available at select Sephoras, but you can get the full scoop here. US Price is $58.

How do you plan to countdown to the holiday season? Will you be celebrating with nail polish too?


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kate Spade Holiday Bags

Oh, Kate. Once again you've lassoed me in with your quirky, chic bags. Kate Spades handbags have shown up big this season and I am digging hard on some of these little stunners.

Kaleidoball April Clutch: $248

This little baby is such a nostalgia kick for me. I had the most Ah-MAZE pair of Dr. Scholl's sandals in this SAME material. Do you remember the slide-ons that were super popular in the 90s? Well they were awesome.

Is This Seat Taken? and Tequila Is Not My Friend Terry: $248

Who remembers the "Eat Cake For Breakfast" tote from Spring/Summer? It sold out in a flash, so if you got one, count yourself lucky (and maybe sell it to me?). I'm partial to the "handsome stranger" tote because of the pink, but the blue is great too!

Knock on Wood Car Clutch: $348

May I introduce you to the outfit maker? I love this little gem for a multitude of reasons. Not only is it a head-turner, but the classic wood-paneled cruiser reminds me of long days spent at the beach.
Which bags are your fave? Will you be adding any to your collection? Check out the rest here!



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Visions of Velvet

Velvet has always signified the true beginning of the holiday season for me. It's holiday party dresses, velvet bows and tree skirts. It's champagne fizzles, gift wrap and holiday cards. Luckily for me, and any other velvet fans out there, the velvet items are aplenty this year!  Here are a few of my favorites:

Zara Velvet Blazer with Gold Buttons: $189

I adore this blazer. It's the perfect blend of casual and evening. I can picture it just as easily at the office with jeans as I can at a charity event. I'm not loving the pants paired with it, I think since there's a looser top, it needs to be a more fitted bottom.

Zara Combination Velvet Trousers: $89.90

I'd swap the pants in picture 1 out for these more streamlined bottoms. I love the tuxedo-style stripe down the side, and the interior ankle zippers.

Topshop Velvet Short: $64

Picturing these sweet Topshop shorts with some patterned tights and a white oxford (or chunky sweater if it's cold). Add some heels for night or boots for day and you have a very versatile addition to your wardrobe!

J.Crew Darby Velvet Loafers: $198

These will definitely be coming to join last year's Darbys in my closet very soon. The Darby loafers are insanely comfortable and are sturdy enough to keep their shape much longer than other loafers on the market.

ASOS Oversized Bow Tie: $14.07

Adore this borrowed-from-the-boys update. I have a few regular sized bow ties crowding my closet, but I love the floppiness of this style that makes it that much more girly.

J.Crew Toothpick Jean in Velvet: $110

Velvet jeans are probably my favorite velvet trend for the season, and I'm loving this soft blush color.

Madewell Velvet Cloudtrail Dress: $225 Now $159.50

Is there anything greater than a casual Madewell dress you can throw on for any occasion (there is not). I love the ombre/dip-dye feel of this dress, and how it could easily work double-duty as a jumper with a button-up or chambray shirt.

What are your favorite velvet items this season? Do you have another fabric that signifies the start of your holidays?

Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY Antler Necklace Display

As an avid accessories collector, I'm constantly searching for new and better ways to store my jewelry collection. Right now, I stick with simple Lucite trays in two of my dresser drawers for storing my necklaces, and a jewelry display stand for bracelets. I've always hated keeping such gorgeous pieces tucked out of sight, because they add so much to a room when displayed to their best advantage. Enter my latest DIY project!

As a huge fan of any and all things antler related, I squealed with joy when I spotted this little guy hanging out in the Target holiday section:

His tag says "Reindeer," but I have my doubts. No red nose? I'm calling you a deer, bud. And for $29.99, my favorite deal of that particular trip (had he been $49.99, I still would have snatched him up without a second thought, I love him that much). I wasn't able to find him online (sold out, maybe?) but here's another piece from the collection. Sidenote: if you want him, go get him! My store only had 2 left after I bought mine, and I'm sure they will soon be hard to come by.

After picking him up, I made a brief stop at Michaels for Martha Stewart supplies:

I loaded up on the Coarse Glitter in Rose Quartz, the Glittering Glue, the Multi-Surface Pearl Acrylic Paint in Jet Stream, and Finishing Touches in High Gloss. Can I just say? There is nothing better than Martha craft products. I basically collect and hoard their glitter, the BEST glitter on the market if you ask me, and will never, ever use another brand of acrylic paint ever again. This was my first foray into the Martha paint, and I was a little hesitant to go with the Pearl finish, but gracious did it ever go on gorgeous. I ended up skipping the high gloss finish when I was all done, but if you decide not to go with Pearl, you might still opt for it. With the Michaels app on my phone in hand, I was able to use a 25% off entire purchase coupon, and paired with the Martha deals that were already going on, ended up spending $12 on supplies all together.

The final product with jewelry?

I'm actually pretty happy with how the little guy turned out. I feel like having my jewelry more separated gives me a better chance to see what all  I have, and keeps the more precious and fragile pieces from getting all jostled around in my drawers.

Ignore the eye cream tube that somehow made it into EVERY SINGLE PHOTO.

Close-up view.

Close-up view.

This little guy may seem small, but he was in fact mighty. It was a beast of a project, and actually could use a bit more touch-up on the glitter front, but seriously? I love him. He adds some festivity to my room for the holidays, but I think he's neutral enough to be used year round. Plus, I love the sparkle and glamour that the jewelry adds to the whole room. It's way too pretty to be stored in a drawer all the time.

Total Project Cost: $42
Time Spent: 2 Hours

What are your thoughts? Any DIY projects you've completed lately and are super proud of? Any glitter or antler products I NEED to know about? Let me know!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Just Launched: J.Crew Holiday Gift Guide

If you're like me and constantly hold your breath for J.Crew website updates and new arrivals, you were ecstatic to wake-up yesterday morning to brand new merchandise and features at! The holidays are officially upon us, and stores are wasting no time puttin' on the ritz when it comes to gift guides (and OF COURSE J.Crew's is grouped by color and visually appealing). A few of my picks from the J.Crew Holiday Gift Guide for Her? (Feel free to take note...I'll wait if you want to go get a pen and paper!)

Printed Back-Up Battery for iPhone: $39.50

We've all had those days when our lifelines die without an outlet or car charger in site. Not anymore! Charge this like you would your iPhone, then keep it in your purse in case of emergencies. Plug it in the bottom of your iPhone and reconnect in an instant!
Leather Colorblock Luggage Tag: $30.00

Need help getting your luggage to stand out from the crowd? This baby amps up the average roller luggage that 99% of people traveling will be lugging to the airport. Plus, for $10, you can add monogram embossing! Sidenote: who does J.Crew know with the initials SMH? Because I want to meet them.

Polka Dot Snood: $68

If there's one thing I regret from last year's shopping purchases, it's that I didn't snap up a snood. As the weather gets a bit colder, this might have to be my go-to. It has the polka dots I'm loving this season, but is neutral enough to go with just about any outerwear you can find.
Liberty Crystal Braid Bracelet: $39.50

Love me some Liberty print. Add in a braid and a little sparkle and you've basically sold me on whatever you're selling. Can you imagine how this would look mixed in with some gold bangles? Statement, supreme.
Corgi Cashmere Heart Socks: $98

I rarely wear socks if I'm not wearing tennis shoes, but sometimes I find myself reaching for a pair when it gets cold outside and I'm sitting around the house. These are perfect for lounging, and the cashmere would keep your little piggies nice and toasty as the mercury drops.

Heart Key Chain:

Sometimes I think J.Crew is reading my mind. Either that, or we have that twin-speak where we just know what the other is thinking. A couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a friend about ditching our college keychains as part of this whole "becoming an adult" process. The sorority keychains are getting a little raggedy, and we seem to be getting carded less and less, so it's probably time to give up the ghost. I swear, less than a week later J.Crew introduced their new keychains. Grown-up and still fashionable? Sign me up!

Check out the rest of the gift guide (including Men's) here. Any good picks I missed? What gifts are you giving this year?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

IFB's Links à la Mode: DIY Leopard Boots

”"I am completely thrilled to be chosen for this week's Links à la Mode! The amazing group at IFB chose yesterday's post "DIY Leopard Boots," along with 19 other amazing articles by independent fashion bloggers. Be sure and check out the other fabulous bloggers featured, and head over to IFB to read up on amazing tips, trends, traffic, and basically anything you can imagine in regards to fashion blogging!

Winter Is Coming.

Edited By: Taylor Davies

We just had our first snow storm of the winter season in New York City, and it seems like bloggers in the IFB community all over the world have winter on their minds, too. From layering tricks to dark-hued manicures, coats and capes, we’re all feeling the chill. This week’s links are full of thought provoking pieces as well, there were in-depth articles on models, modeling and photographers as well as the challenge of wearing one dress for seven days in a row. Looks like even if the snow keeps us inside this winter, we’ll have no shortage of great blog content to keep us warm.



Shopbop Sale Save 70%: Willow, Zimmermann, Theory, Alice Olivia, 20, Hatch, Ramy Brook, Ash, Rings & Bracelets

If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE where you see “Links a la mode next week’s date (official)”.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

DIY Leopard Boots

It's no secret that I harbor a pretty deep obsession for all things leopard. Ditto for Target. What do you get when you put them together (besides this fab dress)? A new project!

After seeing some INSANE sharpie projects on Pinterest (dalmatian chairs, anyone?) and continually being inspired by P.S. I Made This... I decided to set out on my own DIY adventure. One night, while sifting through my closet, I came across one of my absolute favorite pairs of Target booties. I adore the shoes (they are super comfortable AND leather) but have a similar pair, so the Target ones didn't get as much wear as I like. I had originally planned to stud them, but the studs I wanted were going to be crazy expensive and I wasn't sure how they would turn out, so I decided to roll the dice and get out the sharpies.

With leopard being my favorite print choice, I dug out a dark brown and black sharpie from my collection (who's a fool for buying the Sharpie mega-pack now?) and got to work. These are the boots I started out with, the Kaelyn Ankle Boot, $29.99:

I dug out some of my leopard print pieces and studied the patterns, before practicing on paper a bit. I thought about sketching with pencil, but the job was a bit of an undertaking, and I figured free form would look best anyway.

I started with brown spots, then went back over the sections adding sections of black. I ended up making the same shape a lot (a kidney shape), but as long as they weren't going in the same direction too much, I think it turned out fine.

Getting closer!


The finished product took about 4 hours (some good TV watching, though!), 4 Sharpies (the ink never dried out, but the suede did wear down the tip so it wasn't as fine) and one serious permanent marker headache (I cannot stress ventilation enough! It was freezing when I did this so I made do with two fans, but boy, I needed a window)!

The total cost of the project was $29.99, or the cost of the boots! I had the markers lying around the house, but had I bought them at the store, I think I would have gotten out of there for $5 for all 4, so at most, $35. It was a total transformation for a pair of boots that were starting to show a few spots (I've had them since August). It's by far the DIY project I'm most proud of, and I can't wait to dream up another one!

Any DIY Projects your particularly proud of? Send me your links!