Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Chandelier Tree- great idea I can take no credit for...

Yesterday, I came across this picture on pintrest an thought to myself "now that's how you decorate a chandelier"

photo from

I followed the link to Pearls Handcuffs and Happy Hour and checked out this post.  Turns out that this is a super easy DIY project that even I can do... and it cost a whopping  $9.96  thanks to the Michael's holiday blow-out sale I hit yesterday during lunch. 

If you are keeping track, thats:
$2.49 for 1 nine foot garland
$2.99 for the wreath
1.99 for the cranberry garland I dismantled (cheaper than buying individual picks in the floral section)
2.49 for the ribbon (with plenty left over for gift wrapping)

That's actually a savings off the $12 price tag on the original post (already super cheap!) 

And here it is...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

...better than yesterday

As promised, I went home yesterday scrapped most of what I was wearing.  This morning, I an feeling a little better about myself.  Please forgive the quality of the camera phone pics... I leave for work at 6 am, and just couldn't deal with downloading from my camera this morning, as you can see- the bed isn't even made yet.

The biggest impact, I actually did my hair- a little curl with a 1" iron does wonders for my spirit and hides the kinks from yesterdays bun.  I stuck with black and white (a preggers's best friend...) and jeans, just with better detail.

The pattern of the shirt helps down-play the bump.  (I LOVE my bump, but everyone who sees me knows its there, there's no reason to highlight it.)  The cardigan has a little ruffle detail to make it more interesting than most black cardigans.  The skinny jean is getting a little tough to pull off, but I'm down to 3 pairs of jeans- well, 2 after yesterday- so I have to do what I can.  Lastly, red croco pump- love this shoe to pieces- they dress up everything and are super comfortable.  Nine West Gwendle pump in red patent croco $59.95 at DSW   

here is yesterday and today side by side:

Any moms or moms to be with tips on how to dress without looking like you are wearing a tent?

Monday, December 5, 2011


Ok, I am going waaaay out on a limb, the whole point of a blog about fashion, decor etc is to share fabulous ideas.   But, a friend told be once that if more women shared the hardships and pit falls of being a woman, life would be a little easier for all of us.  In that spirit I am going to show you what happens when sleep deprivation and pregnancy hormones collide.  A momentary stumble in the closet of a girl who is trying to be anything but... well... this:

Mistake #1- the maternity jean.  I've been pretty lucky, I've been able to wear my regular jeans (with the help of a BellyBand) and lots of my own clothes through most of my pregnancy.  But now, at 6 1/2 months pregnant, and with a 2 year old who won't sleep in her own bed- I gave in to the perceived comfort of a maternity jean.  Frankly, they are too big to start with, and the grow as the day goes on.  Plus they require constant tugging at the waist- always a good look...

Mistake #2- the fake necklace shirt... these had a moment... a while ago... and although never really my taste, this might have been a more reasonable article of clothing when the friend who lent it to me was pregnant.  It is not any longer.  And moreover the justification for putting it on this morning (it is long enough to cover the elastic waistband on my maternity jeans) doesn't really matter when the jeans keep falling down.

Mistake # 3- the hair.  Insult to injury, I've actually had pretty cute hair all weekend thanks to a great tutorial from The Small Things Blog,  This is not the cute hair.  This is hair that is washed and thrown in a bun so I can still get to work on time even though I snoozed (twice)

Honestly, I love the sweater, and often, its very flattering- but this outfit does it no favors...

Soooo there you have it.  My clothes-tastrophe.  A Monday morning gone horribly wrong.  You can go read something else now- I still have to go to the grocery store and to pick up my daughter looking like this!  But in the spirit of forgiveness and growth- I'm not wallowing in it any longer...  I will, however lay out a cute outfit tonight- in case its another tough night, and post a pic of that tomorrow so you can see if I did any better. 

'Tis The Season...

I hate to brag, but I am this close to being done with my Christmas shopping.  So for all of you Last-Minute Lucy's here is my 10 fav gifts to give... under $50.

7" Silver Polka Dot Bowl- I love this super chic bowl for cut flowers or a fruit arrangement, plus its always a treat to give a gift worth way more than you spent! $39 One Kings Lane for 2 days only (while they last)

Archipelago Botanicals boxed candle in Pomegranate Citrus- delish brightly scented candle, and pomegranate is oh-so "in"  $24.50 at Amazon

Just Being Audrey A picture-book biography of actress Audrey Hepburn- because it's never to soon for a girl to obsess over the greatest fashion icon of all time.  $11.89 Anthropologie

Yuletide Traditions Plates- cheerful appetizer or dessert plates without the typical Christmas tree motif.  $24.99 Cost Plus

Vintage Style Aprons- make baking more fun, and be perfectly accessorized for your dinner parties.  29.95 Sur La Table

Wallet bottle opener- ever been stuck without one?  TRAGIC!  Made for a man, but great for a fun girl too- credit card sized bottle opener fits in a wallet (always handy) and can be personalized for $10 more.  19.95 Red Envelope

Christmas Stocking Chocolates- This San Franciscan purveyor of artisan chocolates is a staple for well over a decade.  I love LOVE their burnt caramel chocolates, and these festive designs make them perfect for gifting.  But be sure you check out all the flavors  They'll ship nationwide.  $20 Recchiuti Confections

Succulent Drop earrings- I've mentioned her before- but I love Kris Nations Jewelry, and these earrings make a great unique gift without breaking the bank.  Sale Price $45 Kris Nations Jewels

Flour Sack towels- this is COMPLETELY suburban, and against the whole philosophy of this blog, but the holidays bring out my domesticity, so here goes:  I love to wrap baked goods in dish towels and give them to my neighbors or co-workers.  I think baked goods are the ultimate gift for those people you want to acknowledge, but don't know well enough to shop for, and I love wrapping that serves an actual purpose.  (Plus that old-fashioned feeling of a flour sack towel tied with ribbon.)  This chirping rooster is just the vintage feel I am going for.  $4 at Amazon.  (ps- Trader Joe's sells great boxed bread mixes, I like to sugar the pan to give the breads a nice sugary crunch.)

Cashmere scarf- an absolute classic that never fails to please.  I love the hounds-tooth both because its trendy without being trendy, and because I love all things hounds-tooth.  $14.99 for two days only at, while supplies last

Happy giving!  And yes, I know, second holiday post in a row.  Full disclosure: there will be more.  I LOVE the holidays!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Haul out the holly...

My husband just spent the better part of the evening schlepping all our Christmas decoration up the from the garage, and I was greeted with 32 years of holiday.  Hooray!

Although I never part with anything Christmas related, I have created some very specific rules around what goes on display- simply put, it has to be red or gold.  No silver bells and no green- unless its pine scented.  The only exceptions being our actual tree decorations- our tree is like a scrap book and I'd take the memories over the department store perfect tree anytime.

I was looking through the decorations and mulling over the dress your space philosophy.  I've mentioned it before, but I love the idea that thoughtful decor would reflect the same taste as a great outfit.  Well, consider this dressing your space in reverse... and check out these great holiday duds inspired by my fav decorations, and with an eye towards your budget, nothing over $100.

ps... can we have a moments pause for that red handbag from DSW?  $35- really?!  I'll race you to it.
Haul Out The Holly

Oasis crepe dress
$75 -

Moon Collection disco dress
$53 -

BKE top
$28 -

Cropped jacket
£24 -

Jersey pants
£19 -

Nine West slip on shoes
$80 -

La Regale metallic clutch
$30 -

Red handbag
$35 -

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fur Real

... or more accurately faux fur real.  I am so in love with the fur trend that comes out in fall- it makes me feel like Doris Day sipping cocoa next to a fireplace.

But, from a practical standpoint fur creates some challenges.  The first is ahem financial- not only can I not justify coat that costs as much as my mortgage, but I always run the risk of anything from a sucker to spit-up getting ground into what I'm wearing.  Then, there is the issue of proportion- a curvy girl in a fur piece can tend to look a little... Sasquatch-y.  Lastly, I hate looking like I rushed out and bought a trend, and while fur (real or faux) is timeless- many of the styles I'm drawn to smack of this weeks fashion mags.

So I've gathered a collection of my fav, mostly faux, fur pieces.  Reasonably priced (under $200), body skimming (to avoid "bulk") and each with a touch of retro.  Eat your heart out daycare moms!

Fur Real

Fur dress
$75 -

ONLY fur cardigan
£48 -

Faux fur trim coat
$170 -

Fake fur vest
$105 -

Helene berman
$46 -

Zara fur heel boots
$159 -

Star by Julien Macdonald teal bag
£39 -

Abercrombie Fitch knitted shawl
$98 -

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Big Purge

If you wonder where I've been lately, look in my closet.  Well, not my closet, but my guestroom closet.  In the four years we have lived in our house, we have had one room that has served as a catch-all.  Our guest room-cum office- soon to be a cotton candy pink paradise for a two year old.  That means getting rid of everything I'm not attached to, and finding a new home for all the keepers from photos to wrapping paper.

So... since I am currently obsessed with organizing my most precious possessions, here are a few of my top 5 space saving solutions.

1. Space Bags: I know, I know, right into the world of "as seen on TV" but I swear- I use these for everything- linens, baby clothes, sweaters... best of all they fit anywhere!

2. Wrapping paper storage: I dream of a wrapping paper station that looks like this

but in my mini house... I'm getting one that looks like this
 ...its actually a great solution with a spot for ribbon, tape and scissors as well as the bin space for the paper rolls.  Beats the heck out of propping the rolls up in the corner.

3. Bedroom office equipment: When my husband and I moved in together we agreed on a no TV in the bedroom rule.  I think TVs in the bedroom are the first step towards divorce...  But, with our spare room, we loose our home office which means all the bills and office equipment need a new home.  In the land of lap tops we don't need a n actual workspace, but we do need some equipment.  Enter the wireless printer- it communicates with my lap top in the living room and fits on a bedroom shelf without making me feel like I am sleeping in the office.

 4. Photo Storage: I have a million pre digital photos, and they aren't going anywhere.  So I love this 'Havana' platinum-grey medium photo box by Kolo - it's pretty enough to shelve (unlike the giant plastic bins I've been using) and made with archival paper to keep my treasures safe.
 5. Under the bed storage: This is my FAV- mostly because it make use of my vintage suitcase collection... currently taking up space in the garage.  And shamefully, I had never thought of it...  So much chicer than the plastic bins peeking out from under my bed now.  Thanks to Better Homes and Gardens for the idea!

And bonus- if I had no budget... and was in the market for some bonus storage, I'd embrace my Alice in Wonderland fantasy with this amazing shelving unit from Dust Furniture... to die for...

Monday, October 24, 2011

In the pink

I was pretty disappointed in myself when I realized it is October 24th, and I haven't even mentioned Breast Cancer Awareness month.  My family, like many others, has been touched my this disease, and although we should be aware of our bodies and our health all year long- this is an especially important time to remember: do self exams regularly and get mammograms when appropriate.  In honor or breast cancer awareness- here are some of my fav things in pink.

Structured dress
£28 -

CALYPSO ST BARTH chiffon top
$69 -

Dorothy Perkins pink top
£8 -

Knee length a line skirt
$17 -

$30 -

Miu Miu logo bag
$420 -

Camelia Avenue Posy Vase
$25 -