Thursday, March 31, 2016

march budget

Popping in with a very quick post about March purchases -- there weren't many, it was a quiet shopping month that absolutely flew by!

As is often the case, my purchases have a nice cohesive color palette and will surely make friends with all of the other black and white and stripey pieces in my closet.

march budget
clockwise from l to r:

Club Monaco Tweed Blazer ($153) -- just a perfect little French-y blazer that looks great with jeans.

Uniqlo x Lemaire Striped Sweater ($40) -- I was happy to get my hands on one piece from this fun collab

Old Navy Striped Dress ($15) -- a great summer basic

Uniqlo x IDLF Sweatshirt ($29) -- this one is a disappointment, and probably going back. It runs super small (just as reviewers said) and the torso is quite short. Too bad, such promise!

Total -- $208 (not including the Uniqlo sweatshirt)
Monthly budget -- $200

Scoring the tweed blazer on a good sale felt like a win, so I don't mind spending most of my budget on one great piece. The cost per wear will be so tiny, I can feel it.

Lots of things on my radar for April. I feel like I fall in love with something new almost daily, and I have fairly expensive tastes right now. Here are the things I can't seem to get off of my mind lately:

yes, I need another blazer // I'm always on the lookout for cute shoes with a reasonable heel // another striped t-shirt // this one is a little crazy, but isn't it fabulous? I have a high school reunion coming up and there is a part of me that wants to show up in this...

Linking up with Fran and the budget bloggers -- did you buy anything good this month?

Monday, March 28, 2016

anywhere and everywhere

Things that I love: cute graphic tees. Shoes with a very Gucci vibe. Pattern mixing. Hence, this outfit. Does it work? I don't know. Do I love it? Yup.

It started with the tee, a very cute little number. I was trying to justify it's purchase and thinking about how I would wear it other than with the usual jeans and leggings. And then I realized, I can wear it anywhere. The shirt says so.

In my office I can definitely get away with more casual pieces, especially when they're paired with more traditional suit separates. When in doubt, just throw a cute jacket over it! This tee is a little pricey, but at least now I've brought the cost per wear down just a tad more...

anywhere but here

a white blazer is really a spring wardrobe staple -- throw it over almost any outfit to feel a little more pulled together // a casual tee with a nice slim cut // this is a lot of look, so a little pair of earrings is more than enough // a ladylike satchel is a closet workhorse // sexy shoes that you can work and dance in // the bold print of this pencil skirt is a welcome sign of spring

Sunday, March 27, 2016

i'm just here for the candy

Happy Easter! As a single 30-something far from home, this isn't really a big day for me. I'm planning to grab brunch with friends and maybe see a movie, but it's not really so different from any other Sunday. But! I am definitely planning on partaking in one of the best Easter traditions: the candy. Easter candy is the. best.

I came across a few great candy-related recipes that I'm definitely going to be trying today. Delicious sugar high guaranteed.

Truffle Bunny Shots

A cocktail you make in the hollows of a chocolate Easter bunny. I saw this and just thought, I'm not using my brain to it's fullest potential. Genius.

Peeps S'mores Skillet

There really is no candy that says Easter more than those sickly sweet and colorful Peeps. You can take them to the next level with this rich and gooey layered s'mores dessert.

Easter Candy Bark

Candy bark is super easy to make and is a great way to get a lot of sugar bang for your buck -- this one has a magical unicorn quality that I'm digging.

Bunny Shortbread

This is an elegant little dessert -- you'd never know that several chocolate bunnies had to die in order to make it happen.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

the good stuff, vol. 7

Here's what I'm into this week....


Target has historically done very well when collaborating with designers who do fun, bold prints (Missoni, Lilly Pulitzer), so I think the upcoming Marimekko line could be a winner -- it's cute!

These historical photos of New York City are fascinating (and enormous -- not suitable for browsing on your phone).

I feel like Lorelei and Rory did a lot of eating but almost no cooking on Gilmore Girls, but I'd still check out this Stars Hollow-inspired cookbook. I'd like to know what was in that very potent Founder's Day punch...

More information than you ever wanted to know about pigments, and the library that is guarding some very rare ones.

This interview with Miuccia Prada is presumably about menswear but really offers a glimpse into the world of a very cool lady.

This week's warm fuzzy is this sweet story of how one person responded to a stranger's text message.

A look at what it takes to go from brunette to platinum blonde (it sounds grueling, like a hair marathon).

There is a right way to use post-it notes and none of us were doing it.


Kendall Jenner and Gigi Haddid are pretty adorable, and I watched this video of their goofy "sleepover" antics more than once. You need at least one viewing just to drool over the Chanel.

I'm hunkered down during our first big thunderstorm of the season and decided to check in on Shon-day. The Catch looks interesting, and I might tune in just to drool over Mireille Enos' hair, and face, and wardrobe.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Rodarte x And Other Stories

Crushed under a mountain of work, somehow I missed the launch of a very fabulous Rodarte capsule collection with & Other Stories (H&M's baby sister). The collection is cool and glam with a 70s Biba-vibe. The limited color palette (black and white, metallics, and pops of pink and red) makes everything feel really cohesive and super easy to work into your closet.

There were some quick sell-outs, but there are still a few gems available. Happy shopping!

This sequin wrap dress is over-the-top in a wonderful way.

Such a perfect little ring, maybe it will come back in stock (please?)... 

Just the shoes to fulfill my inner-Dorothy fantasies. So sexy.

Blush pink usually gives a fresh, innocent vibe but when I look at this super pretty wrap number I think "this dress has seen some things..."

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

pretty little layer

You know how you see something and you just immediately think, "that's SO me!!". Yeah, that's this jacket. Black and white, ultra feminine, polished, pretty. I have so. many. white blazers, but I don't care. This one has a ribbon and I love it.

My natural inclination is to throw this on over jeans when I want a little lazy glamour on the weekends, but it's also begging to be amped up a bit for a super sharp professional look. This is the jacket I'd reach for on the morning of the big presentation, the keynote speech, the dream job interview. This is a four-season piece (just one of the ways I am justifying this purchase), but here's how I'd style it for spring:

pretty little layer

a classic blazer you'll have literally forever // a simple, silky black camisole won't distract from the main attraction // these cropped trousers have a slight flare but are still slim enough to create a flattering leg silhouette // for spring, blush pink is a perfect pairing with black and white, and this satchel is sharp and practical // cropped pants are a great way to show off cute shoes, like these very minimal blush colored heels // one bold accessory, like this statement ring, adds just enough sparkle

Sunday, March 20, 2016

field trip: rifle paper co.

Rifle Paper Co. is one of the most charming and popular stationery companies in the world. You've seen their ultra feminine designs literally everywhere -- cards, wallpaper, books, cell phone cases, prints. And then there are the collaborations -- tote bags with Le Sportsac, sweet tops and dresses for Paper Crown, a range of pieces with style icon Garance Doré, and classic novels for Penguin Books. Rifle Paper Co. is slowly taking over the world, one cheery print at a time.

What few people know is that this powerhouse company is based here in Orlando. In a modern little storefront, on a tree-lined street in the charming little neighborhood of Winter Park sits the modest headquarters for this internationally renowned brand. In addition to a design studio, there's a storefront filled with treasures. #orlandodoesntsuck indeed!

I love visiting their shop any time of year, but the very best time is when they're holding one of their sidewalk sales. They serve up piles of cards, calendars, notebooks and more at a fraction of the regular prices. This weekend happened to be one of those famous sales, so I thought I'd share a peek inside...

The overall vibe of the shop is very much that of walking into a home -- the coziest, cheeriest home you've ever been in. This begins in the entryway, an elegant little space with overstuffed chairs, fresh flowers, and the bold pop of Rifle Paper Co. wallpaper.

The retail shop feels homey as well -- you'll find a collection of tables, bookshelves, and little nooks that are perfectly merchandized with products. The aesthetic here is definitely more is more, and suddenly you feel like maybe your life would be much better is you had piles of adorable notepads, stacks of books, and plenty of chocolate handy -- the much maligned Mast Bros chocolate bars are for sale, though they are attractively packaged (in Rifle prints?).

The store mostly focuses on it's own products, but you will find a selection of jewelry, books, cocktail fixings, and other items that dovetail nicely with the Rifle lifestyle.

A wall of cards for every occasion imaginable (seriously, they have cards that say "Will You Be My Bridesmaid?")

The sidewalk sale attracted quite a crowd -- with everyone snacking on the sugar cookies and
lemonade laid out for shoppers, it felt a bit like a house party.

The sale itself didn't disappoint. They opened up their studio space so there was plenty of room for goodies. There were tables and tables of calendars, prints, notebooks, and planners at very discounted prices (notebooks and journals were $2-5, calendars, prints, and larger items were $6-15).

A lovely touch of just about every sidewalk sale is a little freebie -- a fun party favor from a thoughtful hostess. This year they offered a gilded 8x10 poster, screen printed right in the studio.

For me, the absolute highlight was the enormous table loaded with greeting cards. Most were single cards with envelopes, spanning every holiday and occasion imaginable, priced at $1 each. The crazy thing is that most of these cards are the same ones for sale over in the storefront (and online, in Anthropologie, etc) for $5-8.

You can't even buy a card in Target for a buck, and I like to keep a supply of great cards on hand to avoid last-minute greeting disasters, so I stocked up. And bought 25. (While I was standing in line I was going through my pile and decided to put one back. Because 26 is obviously too many).

So go ahead, loved ones: get married, have millions of babies, get older, do nice things for me. You will be congratulated, celebrated, and thanked in the most charming and twee way imaginable!

Overall, my haul was impressive. In addition the cards I picked up a calendar, some notebooks, a few prints, and other assorted goodies. I even picked up a few stocking stuffers to stash away in my gift closet. This funny little zebra is sitting on my desk right now...

If you love stationery, whimsical design, and Pinterest-worthy shopping experiences, you should definitely make a pilgrimage to Rifle Paper Co. And if you're in the market for a few dozen cards, keep an eye on their social media for announcements of upcoming sidewalk sales (usually in spring, summer, and around the holidays).

Thursday, March 17, 2016

this is not a drill

Last year the shoe of the summer was an adorable little black and white cap-toed espadrille, either the Chanel original or one of many very good inspired-by versions (you remember, like these and these). This year there are plenty of espadrilles to go around, and they're even more fun. Different shapes, different colors, different prints -- your whole summer shoe wardrobe is set. Here are some of my favorites:

top row: last year Target did one of the best versions of the Chanel espadrille, and their dv Tia Espadrille has very cute slipper-like quality // Boden's Betty Espadrille packs a lot of punch for a casual shoe

second row:  a peep-toe and a bright color and a little wedge -- this sweet little shoe has it all // last year's model updated with a subtle silver shimmer and a teeny platform

third row: pink python print offers lots of fun pattern-mixing options // nothing says summer like a rainbow stripe of popsicle hues

fourth row: black and white stripes work with everything // the perforations on this Loeffler Randall pair give a beachy wicker vibe.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

the good stuff, vol. 6

This week's distractions...


This list of a stylist's go-to sources in a slew of categories (t-shirts, lingerie, nail polish, blazers, and everything in between) is a treasure trove.

The Instagram effect on museums -- is it a good thing? I'm a museum-lover, and I'm dying to see the Wonder exhibit. The thought of snapping a cute selfie definitely crossed my mind...

Love this profile of Isaac Mizrahi and his many fashion lives -- next time I'm in New York, I'm heading straight for The Jewish Museum to see his exhibit and have a little nosh at Russ and Daughters.

Here's an easy makeup tutorial so you can look ex-actly like Karlie Kloss (promise).

Aidy Bryant is an absolute gem, and her apartment is pretty adorable (but also, pretty small -- no doubt about it, real estate in NYC is brutal).

On TV, everyone has the same hairstyle (also on blogs too, right?)

The Most Interesting Man in the World is actually, pretty interesting.

I don't think there are any bad buys at Trader Joe's, but here's a list of some of the very best things to load into you cart on your next trip (for me: popcorn, frozen veggies, avocados, bananas, trail mix/nuts/dried fruit, and whatever assorted snacks look delicious). I had no idea about the sampling rule!

Next time you read an article about millennials being lazy or whiny, think about this youngster who has already accomplished a lifetime's worth of goals (and she's still in high school).

Did you know J. Crew has a blog? It is a bit of an amalgam, but I liked this quick but enjoyable profile of Iris Apfel.

Very happy birthday to the Notorious RBG -- some of the many reasons we love her.


House of Cards is back, and I'm (sort of?) excited. I decided to check out the first episode of the new season on a lazy Sunday afternoon and was surprised to get sucked down the rabbit hole. At moments it's pretty great, but there are definitely missteps and just way too many characters and storylines for the average person to keep track of (I totally forgot about a major plot point that comes back in a big way this season and had to stop the show and do a few quick Google searches to figure out what the hell was happening).

#bam4ham -- Lin-Manuel Miranda doing a little Rose Garden Freestyle, because I will never not be charmed by either of these two gentlemen.

Under Armour has made some pretty great ads, and this one featuring the US Gymnastics team is definitely trying to motivate me to get back to the gym.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

modern mary

I wanted to write a post about Mary Tyler Moore being one of my first style icons, but I feel like that ages me more than I'd like to admit. Sigh. Does anyone even remember Mary?

I discovered The Mary Tyler Moore Show years ago when Nick at Nite was the channel of choice for chronic night owls and they played some seriously old-school shows (and I don't mean reruns of Friends). In a nutshell, Mary Richards -- played by the extraordinary Mary Tyler Moore -- had a great job and a funky little apartment and wonderful best friend and a messy personal life and it all seemed pretty great to me. It was one of the first times I was really excited about the prospect of adulting -- she had a life that I totally wanted.
Mary also had pretty killer style. Mini skirts, scarves, and platforms shoes were staples, and when I saw this tweed mini I found myself building a very Mary-esque look. I call this Modern Mary because of a few easy updates: a cheery spring color palette (no sepia-toned 70's hues here) and some next-level pattern mixing. A look perfectly suited for my current life (great job, sweet apartment, disastrous personal life)...

my favorite striped shirt, a real wardrobe staple // a vibrant scarf that is an easy transition to spring // this bright, tiny bag won't hold much but sometimes it's good to pare down to the essentials // this tweed mini is timeless and will work nearly year-round // if they're as comfortable as they look, I feel like I'd wear these python platforms all the time

Tweed minis seem to be the thing for spring, here are a few other good options:

Kate Spade Mohair Mini // TopShop Check Mini // Loft Button Tab Tweed Skirt (on sale!)

Monday, March 14, 2016

it's national pi day

March 14 (you know, 3.14), a day for nerds and dessert-lovers. I can't say I really fit it into either category today. I enjoy a good math joke, but I can only remember π to five or six digits (nerdier friends can rattle off twelve, fifteen, even twenty digits easily). And then there's the other thing.

I hate pie.

I hope we can still be friends, I know this can be a fairly controversial stance. It's the one dessert category that I really just don't get. The tiny town I live in holds an annual pie festival, a wacky event straight out of Stars Hollow. The highlight of the event is $10 all-you-can-eat pie buffet and I leave hungry. My brother served pie instead of cake at his wedding last year and I brought a cupcake in my purse. Team Cake for life.

But I love dessert and I love celebrating goofy holidays, so I didn't want to sit this one totally out. I realized it's the traditional fruit pies that I really hate. Goopy, sugary fillings sitting on a soggy thanks. But when you start adding chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallow, and other good stuff into the mix, well that's a horse of a different color.

Here some pies that are worthy of baking, serving, and eating, today and any other day...

This chocolate peanut butter tart is meant to mimic the deliciousness of Tagalongs, the very best Girl Scout cookies in the world.

This S'mores Pie is perfect when you don't have a campfire handy. I can almost taste that buttery graham cracker crust and gooey marshmallow.

These pie pops are pretty goddamn adorable, even if they're filled with traditional fruit fillings here. But what if they were filled with Nutella? What if, indeed...

Creme brûlée is one of my favorite desserts, and part of the beauty is it's simplicity. I wouldn't want to mess with it too much, but the addition of rich, flaky crust to create a creme brûlée pie doesn't seem like a bad idea.

Pudding pie is a staple at my house for Thanksgiving, a compromise to appease the pie-lovers and the stubborn pie-hater (me). Ours is usually a simple chocolate version, but at some point I'm going to need this banana pudding pie in my life.

A few more pie-related tidbits....

How adorable are these dessert plates? I'm definitely going to pick up a few of each (especially for the price!)


I'm not the only one who hates pie! I could have written this article, which argues we need a better all-American dessert than apple pie. Mark Bittman suggests ditching the crust when making fruit desserts, which is at least a step in the right direction. And what would @drakeoncake be if there was only...pie?

If you are a pie-lover, put this on your culinary bucket list: Briermere Farms. It's a fairly tiny, unassuming farm stand on eastern Long Island that serves some of the best pies in the world (according to those in the know). They also have delicious muffins, cookies, and other baked goods in addition to farm fresh fruit and veggies. It's in the middle of nowhere but an easy stop on your way out to the Hamptons, Montauk, my mom's house, or other fancy destinations.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

coffee (table) talk

When I fantasize about hitting the jackpot in Vegas or scoring a lottery windfall, it's the possibility of little luxuries that excite me most: Chipotle for lunch every day (oh, I know guacamole is extra), weekly blowouts, and best of all, the ability to buy all of the books that my little heart desires.

I mean, I'm sure I'd buy a fancy house and expensive shoes and all of that stuff, but...I really love books (#sorrynotsorry Marie Kondo).

Right now I'm dreaming about coffee table books, because there are so many good ones coming out soon! Unfortunately my coffee table is always bigger than my book budget, but here's what's on my wish list...

Isaac Mizrahi
This gorgeous book is being released in conjunction with the Isaac Mizrahi: An Unruly Life exhibit opening at The Jewish Museum next week. I can't say how exactly, but my job has involved working on this exhibit in a small way and it looks AMAZING. I've always loved Isaac's style and have a soft spot for him as he really blazed the trail for the modern high/low designer collaboration (RIP, Isaac Mizrahi for Target).

Things Neatly Organized
A fun read for those type-A obsessives who love keeping things tidy and organizing by color. The cover is sort of mesmerizing, isn't it?

The colorful, wanderlust-inspiring photographs of Gray Malin collected in one lovely place. I'd never thought about changing my coffee table books seasonally, but this would be a great one for the top of the pile once May rolls around (or for my beach house, definitely #4 on my list of things to spend my lottery winnings on).

Hamilton: The Revolution
I have known about Hamilton: The Musical for years, and I knew it would be great but never could have predicted this level of hysteria (why, why, why didn't I buy tickets months ago??). Until I finally get to see the show, this behind-the-scenes look will have to hold me over.

Botticelli Reimagined
I'm not necessarily a huge Botticelli fan, but l love the idea of looking at the way one great artist has influenced some of my favorite contemporary artists, musicians, and designers.

Painting Central Park
I spotted this sweet looking book in the gift shop last time I was at The Met. Central Park has always been a bit of a mystery to me (I always, always, always get lost), but I'd like to know it better. Maybe there's a pretty little map in here somewhere...

Love Style Life
This has been out for a few months, but I'm dying to read it and dying to display it. Blush, black, and gold - is there a more perfect color palette?