Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mid Week Design Inspiration

I just clicked to purchase these fantastic quatrefoil-like panels from Ballard Designs.  I absolutely love this pattern and I had been on the search for a wall paper for my home office when I came across these in the October catalog.  This is much more my speed - I can simply nail onto the wall in a few key areas without the complete commitment (and time) of hanging wall paper.  In the catalog they also show them painted a vibrant orange, which I love. 
Hang these in your home for many multi-purpose uses... In place of a traditional bulletin board, to display holiday cards, a cool picture frame panel, a head board for your bedroom, or instead of traditional wainscoting for a unique border in your bathroom - So many ideas!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The "Skinny" on Belts

Every time I walk into a J Crew I instantly start needing to collect more variations on skinny belts.  They put them together so perfectly on the dress forms in store with such fun color and pattern contrasts.  They are an easy and inexpensive way to add a little extra to a basic outfit.  Below are a few of my favorites - paired with a great wool pencil skirt from J Crew (amazing peacock blue color that's new for this season) and then tucked in a fun pattern blouse... One you may recognize from the Missoni for Target Collection.
Can't go wrong adding in a touch of the ever so popular animal print.  This one is from Forever 21 (shocker!) and is in stores now for less than $5.
I splurged on this ribbon tied belt a couple seasons ago from J Crew.  This could easily be a DIY project substituting the chiffon fabric flower for a white rose from a craft store like Michaels for a bit of a softer, romantic look.
I can never resist a little bit of sparkle - even for daytime I love the simple shimmer this adds.
Texture! Love the contrast of the gold studs with the Missoni for Target blouse.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet Tooth Trend

I have tasted something wonderful that I think will rival the coveted cupcake!!  Mini bundt cakes from a fabulous bakery called Nothing Bundt Cakes.  They are so delicious - super moist, perfect tasting frosting (although a little too much... call me crazy!) with lots of great flavors to choose from!  I had a white chocolate raspberry - YUM!

So, while I was ready to pick up a box for the weekend, I got inspired to make a banana bundt myself... Just to compare.  Sad to say that while it didn't look as pretty as NBC's above (I didn't let it cool completely in the cake form... lesson learned) it tasted delicious.  Really, how could it not when I poured my new found favorite... Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce (from TJ's) over the top, then took a nice, ripe banana, sliced and coated it in sugar & fried the pieces in butter until caramelized. Added that to the cake as an additional topping... Way to make it work!!
I love DIY projects, but I'm certainly not ruling out ordering a box of mini's the next time around!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mid-Week Fall "Forever" Finds!

Nothing is more relaxing... and in this case rewarding than a trip through Forever 21 seeking out some cool weather goodies!  I found 3 things that I thought would definitely complement some of my existing items (I have been combing through the closet finding things I may have forgotten from last season).
Here's a look at what I walked out with on my "treasure hunt":
LOVE this Chanel-like bracelet with the chiffon bow and bold gold link chain (buy here).  I bought as many as they had to keep for gifts for the holidays!
Found a great pair of "over the knee" color block socks to wear with my boots (buy here).  This look is super cute (and not to mention cozy) to layer over tights.  Or pair this look with a casual skirt, with leggings or skinny jeans... Like below: 
OK - bear with me on this one.  It is a bit too crazy for me, but animal print is everywhere in fashion and the colors & print were pretty decent (not to mention the $12 price tag - I checked online and they are out of stock right now - check in store)... So I went for it knowing this lovely find would need to be toned down quite a bit.  Here's a couple ideas:

Would love to hear about some of your Forever Finds!  Upload your pics to my Facebook page here - Let's Share!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall Home Scent

Glade's Apple Cinnamon candle...This is the perfect way to get your home smelling like the Fall season - Delicious scent and not perfumey at all.  Stock up on these and use them all the way through the holidays - They are only $3.50 - $5.00 depending on where you go.  Target has the best price.  I like this candle way better than all of the other more expensive brands. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Silk Scarf Revival

One of my favorite new MB followers threw out the question "Are silk scarves still relevant this season and if they are... How are they wearing them?"  Love the question!  Last fall they were cropping up all over the runways as the must-have accessory, so I'm sure many of you (like me) collected a few... I still love the look and have seen plenty of fun, on trend ways to continue to build these into your current Fall to Winter wardrobe.  Below are a few of my favorite ways to wear them:
A sweet, billowy bow around your neck is very pretty.  Layer it with a statement necklace for a bit more texture.  It's best to keep the rest of your look simple (hair in a ponytail w/ simple stud earrings, jeans, boots, your favorite t and cardigan...)
A heavier weighted scarf like this jersey knit above is great for mimicking the ever popular tie-neck blouse we talked about here.
This is a fantastic look for Fall - This silk scarf is more of a square shape so you can fold into a triangle & loosely tie 2 ends together behind your neck.
Great use with an up-do!  Love it for short hairstyles as well.   
And for a smaller size scarf, you can go for the Pan Am flight attendant look tied around your neck (not my fav) or a more soft, modern take on a cuff bracelet.
Thank you Elizabeth for your completely inspiring request!!
Anyone else??

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mid-Week Conversation

Tonight was a very fun night out for early cocktails and yummy bites with some special new found friends and some that know me all too well.  We of course jumped into conversations on the debatable topic of wearing white after Labor Day and decided that "Winter White" is a very appropriate & widely used term for the pieces we will continue to wear through the coming months... No judgment here!  On top of that we all agreed that if a heel is the choice we make for ourselves to wear from AM to PM then it simply HAS to be a platform - Not new news for those of you who are faithful followers of the style, but I have been gradually giving my self permission to wear the higher 3" - 4" heels given that I feel I can now properly walk in them without looking like I'm walking on stilts.  And finally - Let's embrace that one can simply rock the snakeskin / python print given it's perfectly balanced with neutral accessories - LOVE IT! 
Oscar de la Renta dress... And what a perfect look with the cream fishnets!!!     
LOVE - Kelsi Dagger Linzy Pumps via Piperlime.
BCBG luxe snakeskin print dress - On sale now at Bloomingdales
Gerard Darel bag
Cheers, Ladies - Thank you for the inspiration!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

NYC Fashion Week - Spring 2012

As I am getting all geared up & super excited for our current Fall season, I am now obsessed about what is coming down the runway for next Spring!  The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week kicked off Sept. 8th in NYC and I have been tracking some of my favorite looks so far.  Some of the designers are incorporating live streaming for their runway shows which is very exciting!  Click here for the schedule for the remainder of the week - We have yet to look forward to J.Crew, Rebecca Minkoff, Nanette Lapore... Just to name a few.  Below is a sample of what we have to look forward to... Love to still see bold colors and patterns...
BCBG kicked off on the first day of the shows.  Love these modern prints and flowing fabrics.  Time to work on sculpting my shoulders!
Day 2 - Cynthia Rowley... Silks, Satins and Florals - I love!
3rd Day - Vivienne Tam - More neutral in tone, but still those lovely shoulder baring silhouettes.

Very Structured...

Is the name of the Essie polish from my latest pedi.  Love this carmely-brown for a bit of neutral color - especially when wearing my blueberry platforms by Kensie Girl.  These were a purchase from last year and maybe got only one or two wears.  I'm planning on making them a staple for this Fall.  The look is perfect with all the bright, bold gem colors that are cropping up this season.

What lovely pair of shoes do you have hiding in the back of your closet?  What is old could become new again!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Peace & Perspective

"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on." -Havelock Ellis

Friday, September 9, 2011

Perfect Party Dip

YUM!  This super easy to make warm artichoke-olive spread has all things I love - except tomatoes :-).  I have made it a few times now (click here for the recipe) and I suggest adding a bit more fresh grated Parmesan than listed - a hearty sprinkle on top before putting it in the oven is a suggestion (you can never have too much cheese!) and maybe 3 - 4 crushed garlic cloves to mix in with all the other wonderful ingredients!!  A fresh baguette or buttery crackers are always great to scoop it up with, but also try this as a grilled panini sandwich spread with maybe some ham, turkey or salami on a rustic onion roll - STARVING!!
Your friends & family can hardly wait to try!
All ingredients added into the bowl and ready for a good stir
Fresh out of the oven... Golden on top and super melty and delicious inside!
A recipe has no soul.  You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.  ~Thomas Keller

Happy Dipping!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mid-Week Inspiration

This past Monday on Labor Day I got to put a check mark next to one of my "Bucket List" items.  I hiked with a group of volunteers to the top of Mt. San Antonio (AKA Mt. Baldy) to help run the finish line for Mt. Baldy's 46th Annual race called "Run to the Top".  I had this task on my list for 2 reasons:  #1 - to cheer on one of my best friends as she actually participated in the 8 mile race and I wouldn't have missed her crossing the finish line for the world and #2 - I wanted to be able to stand in the exact spot my Dad stood years ago when he hiked the trecherous route coming in from the North.  He trained for a year to make that hike... up and back in only one day.  I didn't take his same route - I walked only a mere 8 miles round trip, but every step of the way I got more and more excited to reach that 10,000 foot level so I could describe to him what it was like for me and we could share in our experiences together.
The weather that morning was crazy in the mountains!  I was a little worried about it being safe to make the climb.  It was raining, thunder & lightning overhead, heavy winds and really cold.  We set out at 5:30am and kept our heads down as we winded through the switchbacks while the rain hit our face like shards of glass.  We reached the summit by 7:00am.  The sun was up but not quite visible because of the cloud coverage.  It was such a beautiful site from the top and amazingly a few of nature's wonders were there to greet us.  I could hear it loud and clear - at that present moment I was exactly where I needed to be.
"If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is." ~Unknown
What's on your list?  Start making those check marks and leave your BAGGAGE behind...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall Trend Alert

Untitled #6
I am falling for the lovely "bow tie" blouses that are cropping up everywhere this new Fall season.  Pair this with your favorite jeans, a perfect fitting blazer (one that looks great unbuttoned so you can see the detail of the blouse), a great pair of ankle boots and your favorite bag... It's a perfect "go-to" look for a casual outing to maybe even the office.  So pretty and feminine - Have fun with the blouse color for a little "wow" and keep everything else neutral.  Click here for a link to places & prices of the above pieces... Or browse your favorite places as they are sure to be everywhere this season (Maybe your own closest??)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labor Day Soiree

I have a little gathering to go to this weekend and have found that a couple of my Trina Turk Sample Sale finds from last week are the perfect pairing for a fun, colorful look for the event.  I have no fear when it comes to not being completely "matchie - matchie" in the outfit department... I like to get a bit creative and try some color combo's you wouldn't normally put together... You come to find out they actually do work! 
Love the neckline on this TT dress & the below orangie-coral jacket is perfectly modern.
This is one of my favorite little "wow" pieces... Love carrying this glittery clutch with the "jeans & t-shirt" look as well.  It was a Forever 21 find last December (can't wait to see what they have for the Holidays this year!).

What's the plan for your Labor Day weekend?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Shoe Clip Obsession

Ok - can't get enough of these!!  The more I searched online the more I found that I NEED.  Shoe clips have come a long way over the past few years.  I just love the little "wow" these give to a pair of perfect ballet flats or a simple pair of heels.  Below are several that I love... AND need I mention what a great gift these would be? 
Above & below @ ban. do

Above & below from Finkshop via Etsy
Finkshop is also a great resource for buying DIY clips - C'mon!  Let's get creative! 

An Apple a Day...

Too bad it can't make the Summer stay!  Sept. 1st already!  I definitely noticed this week that the Summer days are coming an end... Traffic has picked back up as all are back from their vacations, school has started and the sun is starting to set earlier.  The good news is Fall is right around the corner and it happens to be my favorite season so stay tuned for some great posts to propel us into the coming holidays.  Until then - We'll stick with Summer until Labor Day officially signals the end.
A fun little ring for Back to School... Of course found it at Forever 21! - They are the alternative to a nice, warm greeting.  Peruse through some of the many topics and you'll find some very funny, sarcastic and quite rude greetings - Ya never know... Their motto is "When you care enough to hit send".