Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wrap Me Up

This is definitely my Summer's best purchase!  I found this amazing wrap skirt in an adorable little shop on the North Shore of Oahu called Matahari.  It's made out of vintage Indian silk Saris - I just fell in love with the contrasting patterns and the vibrant colors.  The biggest benefit?  This skirt transforms into MANY different looks.  I bought the 28" length so when I wear it as a dress it's not too short (I'm 5'4").  I found a great site so you can buy one online called Magic Wrap Skirts.  I think I need another with some deep navy, greens and purple shades for the Fall.

Simple wrap skirt with a basic tank.
Fun, flirty little strapless dress.
My personal fav... Sleek, sophisticated one-shoulder.
An amazing, flowing kimono-style look... Pair this with some leggings or skinny jeans.  To help you envision a bit better on this one, your arms would come out from under the sides of the top layer.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Major Must-Haves

Ok - I am super excited to share this site with you!  I want one of everything and could spend hours just dreaming about the package arriving at my door!!  Talk about great home accents and fantastic gift ideas!!!  iomoi.com - Love the description about the company on their site... "Modern design with a twist and a wink..." 

Custom Lucite trays!  Below is a pattern I may choose
Fun matchbooks to display with your favorite scented candle
Coaster set comes displayed in the Lucite Box - Love it!
Custom design a fantastic Lucite paperweight - Wonderful gift idea!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Easy Summer Tomato Sauce

I think I may have mentioned before... Summer is the time to enjoy tomatoes.  They are at their absolute best as far as flavor and a ton of different varieties are available.  Below is a very simple, fresh tomato sauce you can toss with pasta or use as a topping for fresh bruchetta.
What you'll need:
1 pound cherry tomatoes (preferably mixed heirloom which are sold at Trader Joe's)
1 jar prepared pasta sauce (marina)
1 bag Rotelli Pasta
1 - 2 cloves garlic (minced)
Handful of whole, pitted Kalamata olives
Olive oil
Basil (fresh and torn into small pieces)
Sea Salt & ground pepper
In a large skillet, add the garlic and 1 tbs of olive oil and saute for a min. or so watching carefully so the garlic doesn't burn.  Then add in the jar of pasta sauce, tomatoes, palm full of fresh basil, salt / pepper and a nice drizzle of olive oil.  Cover and simmer on med. to low heat for about 20 - 30 min. until you start to see the tomatoes soften and break apart.  Cook pasta as directed while the sauce is simmering.   
Toss cooked pasta and fresh tomato sauce together, add a few sprinkles of the fresh basil leaves, fresh grated Parmesan and a little mozzarella - Delicious!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Good 'Ol Navy

While it feels nowhere near Fall in Los Angeles today, I am still in the mood for the change in seasons & navy is on my targeted list for this coming Autumn into Winter must-haves.  It's a color that looks great on everyone so why not add it to your toes!  We've all gotten used to various shades of black and deep purple, so switch it up a bit and try Essie's Midnight Cami!

Forever 21 Friday!

One of my favorite days of the week and not simply because it's the kick off to the weekend which I know we all love, but it's a day I take some fun free time to browse the many levels of the Old Town Pasadena Forever 21!
The accessories options at this location are amazing and a bit overwhelming, but of course I managed to find some must-haves... and ALL UNDER $10! 

These adorable gold & raspberry pink bangles came in a set of 3 and the little gold hearts were a fun touch and not overdone - Definitely something similar to what I have seen from the much more pricey Tory Burch accessory lines.  And these little headbands are perfect - lightweight, great cool colors heading into Fall and are super comfortable... no pressure behind the ears!

LOVE!  The weighty orange & gold trimmed cuff are all you need to top off a "jeans & white t-shirt" look... And the gold studded hoops will look great with a messy ponytail (like the ones shown here).

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cotton Candy Sky

It's been a Day-Dreamy Monday for me.  I woke up to a quiet & peaceful blue sky with perfectly scattered squares of clouds and have come home to end the day with this amazing sunset over the mountains - a perfect summer evening.  I wish you a wonderful week!
"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." -Melody Beattie

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Major Ring Holder Idea!

I've bought a few of these smaller abalone shells from my trips to Hawaii for super cheap and have been using them around the house as ring holders (near the kitchen & bathroom sinks and on my night stand).  You can also buy them from a great site called Sea Shell City ~ Fun as a little gift with a sparkly cocktail ring or a pair of earrings tucked inside!
I love using Chinese carry-out boxes for little gifts - You can buy them in bulk packs of 40 boxes at Smart & Final for only about $15.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Quatrefoil Crush

I am seeing this design pattern popping up everywhere and I just can't get enough of it!  It's got the look of a four leaf clover mixed with a vintage Gothic architecture vibe... I am still on the hunt for more fun quatrefoil finds, but for now here's my current collection:
Target, again - Their stationary buyer is fantastic!
What's your pattern crush?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Major DIY

Little insight to this post:
I am a major coffee fanatic - My favorite when I am brewing a pot at home is Don Francisco's Cinnamon Hazelnut... I make it super strong so one can lasts me only about 4 days.  I have tossed a few of these cans in the recycle bin, but many have just been stacked up in my office waiting for me to come up with a use for them...
My other collective love is all the amazing decorative papers they have at a fav store of mine - Paper Source.  I buy sheets and sheets, pin them on the wall and gaze ~ so many fun colors and patterns.  The collection is actually getting a bit ridiculous!

Thus, the below super simple project was born:
Simple enough... wrap your favorite patterned craft paper around the coffee can, secure with double-stick tape and fill with fun items!  Could even be a great vase since the coffee cans are water proof (careful not to get the paper wet).  Gift idea:  I'm making a few little back to school care packages filled with some essentials to start off the year on a creative note!
What would your gift theme be?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mid Week Mantra

I've had these fun Rae Dunn word stones on my desk for many years and enjoy repeating this special little sequence in my head for creative inspiration. What's your Mantra?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Delicious Tuna Salad

Coming to you from my friend at Mi Casa Cooking ~ a delicious and light twist for a tuna salad with tons of yummy flavors.  And since Summer is THE time for tomatoes, I sliced up a few mini heirlooms and added in for extra color and tons of flavor.
Open faced on some hearty bread is a great way to serve as well!

I really recommend using an herb salad mix & arugula - The peppery flavors in the greens are perfect compliments to the other ingredients.

Drain and rinse a can of canellini beans and plunk them in a bowl.  Add a can of tuna, one stalk of sliced celery, a few sliced kalamata olives, a handful of chopped fresh Italian parsley (or you can throw in some torn basil).  Toss gently together and season with salt and pepper.  Add the juice of half a lemon and a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil.  Give it another toss and enjoy!  You can also put it on a bed of arugula or other greens.  You can fiddle with your proportions but don't skip the canellini beans and use some other kind - there is something buttery about those beans that make this really work. (Courtesy of Mi Casa Cooking)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Shimmer Not Shine

I just added a new staple to my makeup routine which is rare as I like to keep it simple and basic and just change up lipsticks & glosses, but this is one I needed to post.  NARS Illuminator is a perfect product to add shear shimmer to your overall look.  Blend a couple drops in with your creme foundation or with your daily face creme/sunscreen for a natural glow or add to the apples of your cheeks for a super subtle sparkle and a hint of color.
I purchased mine from Sephora... You can sign up (4 free) with them and become a "Beauty Insider"and receive points for every purchase, get emails with tons of free sample offers & amazing coupon deals as well as weekly specials.  Worth it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Weekly Must Have!

This week my "Must Have" is an account with an amazing new find (at least to me) called Cocodot.  If you haven't already discovered this site you must check it out and open up your FREE account to send gorgeous invites, thank you cards & social stationary via email or Facebook that are designed perfectly to meet everyone's taste.  Below are a few templates that caught my eye...

Flea Market Finds!

This weekend in Pasadena is the famous Rose Bowl Flea Market that happens every 2nd Sunday of the month.  I haven't been in forever and I have the itch to browse around...  My favorite finds are always clutches & cashmere sweaters.   Below is the collection of clutches I have picked up over the years and still use to this day... Seriously, never paid more than $5 for any of these.  Go grab a bunch -  you can even tuck in a pair of fun earrings from Forever 21 and you have the perfect gift for under $10!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mid-Week Inspiration

What a week it's been... Already!!  I wouldn't say crisis-mode, but I certainly got off on the wrong start wearing "WAY too ambitious" strappy heels on Monday and followed up with another barely worn pair of sling-back wedges today... Needless to say - I am feeling the pain.
Here's a few fun items to help turn my week around - You may enjoy as well!
This is a fantastic Merlot - SUPER smooth.  Found at your local grocery store or Trader Joe's.
I try very hard to be an eternal optimist, but could not resist this great statement pillow for my home office (another HomeGoods find).  It made me laugh - especially today!
I think I'll start tomorrow off on the right foot... Cheers!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer Salad

I say Summer, but really this is my favorite salad all year round.  The simple list of ingredients are available all year (maybe except the Haas avocados) but you can substitute in some capers or marinated bell peppers in the Fall and Winter months.  Ooooo - and some Kalamata olives!!!
What you'll need:  vine ripened tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, ground sea salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Easy!

Try something different - Serve in a stemless wine glass.
Chop up in rough chunks all above items / small cubes for the mozzarella / tear the fresh basil / light sprinkle of salt and pepper / drizzle of olive oil and balsamic / give a toss or 2 / Done!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jade is the New Black

OPI's new shade of green - I think this will be my go-to color through the Fall season...

Major Finds!

Found some fun little items today at Forever 21 - All under $7!
Definatley NEEDED all these little items... Cute coin purse to house my savings for a pair of new Fall wedges, colorful beaded cuff and a great chunky wooden cocktail ring with an opalescent shell-like surface!  LOVE!     

Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekly Must Haves!

This was a big week for new favorites!
Sally Hansen Nail Strips!  They are awesome and super simple to do... I think this pic was day 4 and they are still looking great!!  
My summer go-to non-alcoholic refresher.  Great, natural lemon flavor - Trader Joe's!
I've been wanting to try out the marker-like lip stains and went for a drugstore brand - LOVE THEM!  The color does last and there is not the dry peeling effects I have found with other stains... Even better with a subtle, shimmery gloss as an overlay.

Pinch Me!

I know this is not breaking news for those of you who follow the fashion buzz...But, forget camping out for Black Friday - Missoni hits the Target shelves Sept. 13th!! 
The coveted bike - with a perfect basket attached!  I'm hoping there is a helmet too!