Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Leproust Vintage Giveaway

Today's the day for awesome shopping opportunties! The lovely Kristin, of Leproust Vintage, just gave her Etsy shop an update and to celebrate is giving away an item to one of her readers. Isn't she sweet? You should really check out her shop, which is well-edited mix of vintage gems. Then leave Kristin a comment on her blog letting her know which item you covet.

Me, being the greedy girl that I am, just can't decide between these two:

This '70s tan shirtdress is just so Girl Scout troop leader! Bring on the Tagalongs!

And how chic is this Albert Nipon satin dress? The neckline is just killing me. LBD love for sure!

Tracy Matthews Sale

I am totally distraught that today is the last day to order jewelry from my beloved Tracy Matthews Designs. EVER.

Tracy is now only going to do custom, one-of-a-kind pieces. I'd like to think that some day I will be able to place an order with her, but for now I will have to live with the small collection of TMD pieces I have amassed in the last three years.

There is still some beautiful jewelry left on Tracy's site. If you find something you love, enter FFSept09 when you check out to receive an additional 50% off!

Midweek MidCentury: 5th Anniversary

I'm feeling wistful because today marks the 5th anniversary of our closing on this humble little 1957 ranch. I cannot believe how quickly five years have gone by. Even though we loved the house as it was, and it had been wonderfully cared for over the years, we've still spent the last five years painting inside and out, removing wallpaper, putting wallpaper back up, landscaping, putting on a new roof, making hundreds of trips to Lowe's and Home Depot and on and on....

To mark the occassion, I thought I'd share a few snaps of my favorite rooms. These were taken three years ago (before HGTV came to film us for the show "National Open House"), but not a lot has changed.

The kitchen is what sold me on the house. It's much bigger than this picture shows, and as someone who spends 3/4 of her time at home in the kitchen, I loved how spacious and bright it is (the awesome birch cabinetry didn't hurt!). We couldn't afford new appliances, so I embraced the Harvest Gold refrigerator and stovetop and painted the walls Dutch Boy Yellow Ochre. Now, five years later, I'm so attached to the Harvest Gold appliances that I live in constant fear they are going to die on me!

The living room is the biggest space in the house; it runs the entire length of one end. It's surrounded by trees and is shaded by our back porch, so it's pretty dark in there. Again, I decided to just go with the dimness and make the room feel very cozy--like a coccoon. We painted the walls and ceiling a taupe-ish grey (Martha Stewart Weimaraner) to match the sofa we had bought, then kept that monochromatic color scheme with the rest of the decor.

The master bedroom was our first project. We figured we'd give ourselves a nice, finished retreat as we worked on the rest of the house. We thought we could have it done in a week. Five weeks later we finally moved into it. This room was our first lesson in wallpaper removal; the paper came off fine, but the original paint from 1957 flaked off with it. The hubby spent days and days spackling and sanding the walls.

Regardless, through the fun projects and the not-so-fun ones, every step has been a labor of love and a fun adventure with the hubby as we have built our first nest together.

p.s. I would also be remiss if I didn't also mention that while looking for a house, I met my bff, who was our Realtor. Love ya, NM!

Scary or Cool?

I haven't decided yet. You?

(via Nagi Noda)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

LBD Love

Yesterday in Mrs. French's weekly I Heart Monday list, she highlighted a dress from the Etsy shop of Lisa Rietz--a gorgeous little drop-waisted flapper-ish number. When I clicked over to investigate further, I came across this sleek, architectural, be-ruffled sheath. It was instant LBD Love.

Check it out in cream:

Are you in love yet?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stitch and Bitch

Every now and again when I need a good laugh and/or am feeling like I want to pretend that I'm crafty, I head to Subversive Cross Stitch. Something about the sweetness of a cross-stitched sampler juxtaposed against those hilarious, naughty sentiments lifts my spirits every time. I'm thinking about finally ordering a kit this year to help keep me occupied during the long winter months.

I recently came across these samplers on Tumblr, which have inspired me even more. Although the sentiments are a bit nicer than a Subversive sampler, I still love how unexpected they are:

All this thinking about needlework reminded me of how I've always wanted to order a shirt from Locher's (talk about an awesome combination of sweet + naughty embroidery!). Lo and behold--they are having a sale! I think this top finally has to be mine:

(via Audrey Hepburn Complex, Like Neely O'Hara, Locher's)

Blue Monday: Blue Coats

It's chilly and overcast today, and I sadly had to break out my trusty trench. I also purged and organized our coat closet last evening, so I guess I've got coats on the brain.

I think either of these lovelies could cheer me up on a bleak fall (or spring) day:

(via Audrey Hepburn Complex)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Change of Heart

So remember last week when I said I NEVER wear animal prints, but was really digging that leopard-print kimono jacket? Well, I think I'm having a change of heart.

This week I bought a leopard belt at Target, resurrected a leopard headband from my drawer of misfit accessories, and am now obsessed with how I can get my hands on these Alexander Wang Spring 2010 wedges. How quickly things can change!

Foxy Friday

Just some cozy, foxy style to kick-off your Friday. Don't you just love her boots and bag?


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Oz!

Did you know that it's the 70th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz? Our theatre was doing a special showing last night, so we went to see it on the big screen. I was riveted to my seat. Seeing this movie for the first time is one of my most vivid childhood memories, and even though I've read the book a couple of times, along with Wicked and its sequels, there's something about the movie--the surreal, candy colors of Munchkinland, the sweet conviction of the characters, the loveliness of the ruby slippers--that just gets me every time.

Speaking of ruby slippers...check these babies out. I'm pretty sure Dorothy wouldn't have been so willing to hand these over to the Wicked Witch!

Don't forget to enter the Blue Collar Catwalk/Stella & Dot giveaway!

I know you want to win these awesome earrings from Stella & get on over to Blue Collar Catwalk before tomorrow and enter Kyla's giveaway!

When I signed on with Stella & Dot last year, these Gilda hoops were one of the first pieces I purchased. I have subsequently worn them almost every day since--and now even have them in silver. They just seem to go with everything, plus they are a nice, substantial size, but are light as air!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'd rather...

Today I'm wearing this:

but I'd rather be wearing this:

So chicly rumpled. So soft, yet edgy. Just lovely, don't you think?


Midweek MidCentury: Georges Briard

It's probably quite obvious that I really love seashells. But I also have a major thing for midcentury ceramics/glassware/pottery, etc., and, suffice it to say, I am kicking myself for not buying a Georges Briard Seascape tray I saw on Etsy back in the spring. I mean, MAJOR buyer's remorse.

If you don't believe me, take a look at the awesomeness of this cheese plate:

It has an attached knife!!! The hostess-with-the-mostess in me is just freaking out.

I'll be scouring Ebay and flea markets for that tray for a long time to come. Let the sleuthing begin!

(via Ebay and Beach House)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

LBD Love

This post should probably be entitled "LBD Lust," because is that not one of the most perfect LBD's you've ever seen? Those shoulders, that draping...what fabric do you think it is? I'm guessing a super-fine wool jersey. SWOON!

But what I really love about this picture is how she's taken a wardrobe staple that is often categorized as "dressy"--I could totally envision this with some killer heels, a cluster of vintage rhinestone brooches, a sleek clutch--and by the use of accessories, made it casual. I'm now thinking about a couple of LBD's hanging in my closet that go sorely under-utilized due to my depressing lack of a scintillating social agenda.

But no longer, ladies! I'm going to pull those lonely LBD's out and put them to work!

Have you had purple carrots?

We got some purple carrots in our CSA share last week. We've had purple cauliflower and purple peppers in the past, but never purple carrots. They are the loveliest shade of magenta, with an orange center, and have a more intense flavor than a regular carrot--very sweet, with a hint of that parsnip-y soapiness (I'm not the only one who thinks parsnips taste like soap, am I?).

Last night, in an endeavor to use up as much of last week's CSA veg as possible, I decided to roast the purple carrots, along with some cauliflower and baby onions from our garden. The dish came out deliciously and was really quick and easy and pretty, despite the less-than-spectacular picture above (my camera just sucks).

Here's the scoop:

  • Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut one small head of cauliflower into bite size pieces.
  • Cut three medium purple carrots on the diagonal into 3/4" pieces.
  • Quarter 2 small onions.
  • Toss the veggies with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin, a shake of red pepper flakes, and sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until done to your liking (we like our veg on the firmer side).
  • Serves 2.

I served this colorful side with a baked Quorn filet (for me) and a grilled boneless pork chop (for the hubby)--both slathered with homemade barbeque sauce--and cheddar smashed potatoes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Blue Monday: Parrish Blue

I love finding inspiration in unexpected places and came away from a visit to the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester last Friday majorly inspired. The museum has a nice, comprehensive--albeit small--collection. I was really needing a little loftiness and beauty to lift my spirits, and who does that combo better than Maxfield Parrish? Seeing The Lute Players in person left me awe-struck. The play of the rose gold glow radiating off these lovelies and the blue--the blue--of the sky and water was just so intense.

I always love Creature Comfort's art-inspired outfits and since seeing this painting am now mulling around wearing my cobalt silk blouse with a black pencil skirt or trousers and rose gold accessories. I'd also love to paint a room Parrish blue and fill it with lots of brass and glass and creamy-gold furniture, but am pretty sure that wouldn't work in my 1950s ranch. But a girl can dream, right?

What influences your wardrobe or decor outside of current trends?

Shoe of the Day

All Black Dani Loafer, Spring/Summer 2009

These loafers are just so nerdy--which means I fell in love as soon as I saw them. Plus, I am obsessed with cognac leather right now. It's my new favorite neutral for accessories. I feel like it gives more of a punch and looks more rich than simply wearing chocolate or another shade of brown. I'm expecially loving these loafers with my skinny grey jeans and a vintage ivory wool boyfriend jacket.

Orchards and Whales and Zeppoles--OH MY!

It was such an amazing weekend here in Upstate NY that I just have to share some snaps with you. We really had two of the most lovely days ever, which meant instead of staying inside and doing all the housework I said I was going to do on Friday, the hubby, Zelda and I were out and about, visiting Little Tree Orchards on Saturday, where we picked Macoun apples and ate fresh apple cider doughnuts (sadly, we forgot the camera because it was totally gorgeous and the doughnut machine needed to be seen to be believed!) and heading to Syracuse on Sunday to poke around at the CNY Regional Market.

And I do mean "poke around." I'm an intrepid flea market shopper, but this place was overwhelming, with many of the vendors simply setting out box after box after box of unknown junk for you to explore. Case in point:

I managed to find one really cool black and white wing-tip golf shoe in this box. I dared not look for its mate.

Although I think it will take a couple of visits for us to get into a good junking routine, we did come home with a few treasures, like this cutie:

I've been eyeing up some vintage brass figurines on Etsy for a while and was so psyched to score a mini-Moby for only $3! He came home with a few friends, and I'll be sharing how I put them to work over the next couple of weeks.

We also stumbled upon an Italian festival in downtown Syracuse. As far as we're concerned, Italian festivals = awesome food, and this one didn't disappont. The highlight? This incredible Zeppole:

The texture was so light and the filling had just a hint of lemon. YUM! (And despite how it looks, I did share with the hubby--I swear!)

After stuffing ourselves on rigatoni with vodka sauce (me) and fried meatballs and rice balls (the hubby), we watched Bocce and listened to a really terrible cover band...and someone maybe even napped a little:

It was really perfect. That's the only word for it. These are the days that will get me through living here come January and February and March and April when it's really just miserable (that's the only word for it...).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Open (Apple) Season

For some reason my stomach always seems to know what is in season, which means I've been craving apples for the last two-ish weeks. Here in Ithaca, this week unofficially marks the start of apple season with Cornell Orchards opening and the Apple Harvest Festival going on next weekend.

Apples will definitely be on my weekend agenda, and I'm going to:
  • Make a Waldorf salad with some Liberty apples and the celery we got in our CSA share this week.
  • Look for an apple bundt cake recipe (if you have a good one, would you share?).

I also plan to:

  • Put up some shelving in my basement and undertake a HUGE reorganization project. Wish me's scary down there!
  • Can beets and tomatoes.
  • Cut down all my perennials and empty out my flower pots.
  • Buy some pumpkins and mums.
  • Do some antiquing/flea marketing with the hubby.
  • Cook up a big batch of black bean burritos (recipe on it's way next week!).

How about you?

NYFW, Spring 2010

I have to confess that as much as I love fashion, I never really follow what's happening on the runways. That said, I did sneak the occasional peak throughout the last week at what's been happening in NYC. This look from Derek Lam has, by far, been the one that's stuck with me. Other than the fact that I wear a lot of camel and lovelovelove cropped jackets (they are, after all, the great hip equalizer--and I've got hips!), this is quite different from anything I'd normally wear. I'm going to let this look percolate over the next few months and see how--if at all--it begins to steer my spring wish list.

Foxy Friday

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse has Fennec foxes, and I've been obsessed with them ever since our first visit there. Their tiny, pointed faces, over-sized ears, and miniature size just melts my heart. Every time we go to the zoo, I ask the hubby repeatedly if I can take one home for a cuddle.

So imagine my delight when I just found this Fennec fox hand embroidered wall hanging in MuchoDesign's Etsy shop. Of all the unusual and adorable things I've stumbled upon on Etsy, this has to be one of the best finds yet. But I suppose it would be kind of hard to snuggle with a piece of art, huh?

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I don't do animal prints. It's one of my hard-and-fast fashion rules. I love that look on other people, but it just doesn't work for me. But this Spiegel jacket (I KNOW! SPIEGEL!) just popped up on my Yahoo! sidebar and made me go "hmmmmmmm...." I've been reading What is Reality Anyway? and think I'm getting inspired by Krystal's awesomeness, because I'm picturing it thrown over my studded jeans and red-and-white striped sailor tee, then topped off with lots of gold chains and a pair of moccasins. What do you think--should I go for it?

Do you ever break your fashion rules? If so, do you regret it later or learn to love something that pushes your limits a little?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Orthopedic Chic

Today was a pretty crappy day. One bright spot: I was debuting my new DV by Dolce Vita sandals that I bought for less than half-price on Amazon. To me they look just like the sandals my aunt had to wear back in the '80s when she had her hammer toes operated on, but for some strange reason, I dig that.

Here's how I styled them up:

My day may have gone to hell in a handbasket, but I felt cute. And really--isn't that half the battle?

Midweek MidCentury: Fall Light

It feels so fall-like here today, and the light coming in my office window this afternoon perfectly matches the slant of sun streaking across the incredible stone fireplace in this photo.

Here's what I love about this room:
  • That AMAZING wall of windows. Our house is kind of dark, and it's rarely sunny in Ithaca (the Cullens lived here briefly during New Moon for heaven's sake!), so I covet homes with copious windows.
  • The muted color scheme. It just feels so peaceful. Our house has lots of color--which I love, but I always dream of doing a much more subdued color scheme.
  • The piano. What a nice, homey touch!
  • Those chairs!!! The juxtaposition of the deep seat and the squatty legs is just genius. I'm imagining that they are upolstered in a slate tweed, which is just making me drool.
  • The shag rug. I'm a big fan of shag, and cream shag just feels so luxurious! I'd love to lay on this rug in a patch of that sun and cuddle Zelda.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New from Jess LC

I have been admiring the lovely jewelry of Jess LC for a while now, and the launch of her new collection is definitely going to inspire me to make a purchase. I find myself wearing more and more gold jewelry, but still consider myself staunchly a silver-wearer. With a piece like the Wellington Ave. Long Graduated Stripe Necklace pictured above, why do you have to choose?

Also, if you don't follow Jess's blog, Makeunder My Life, I highly recommend it. Her posts have inspired me to not only start this blog, but also to dream big and to seek out ways to live more simply.

(via makeundermylife)

This week's reads...

I have a degree in English Literature. As you can imagine, there is a certain amount of literary snobbery that comes along with such a classification. I started on the classics at a very young age and spent most of my high school and college years with my nose stuck in a book (minus my forays into Sassy and Harper's Bazaar), feeling I was the literary superior of my classmates. But I'll let you in on a secret: after years of reading "real" books and four years spent dissecting plot lines and outlining social commentary, I became a heretic. I've already admitted that I read comics. But you should also know that I read bad mysteries and scifi, too. And food books. I even read the Twilight saga--and, moreover, I thoroughly enjoyed it! The truth is, I haven't read anything of real value in probably two years. That isn't to say I don't feel guilty about it...I do. Just not enough to put my Anita Blake novels down and pick up Wharton or James or...Austen.

And then along comes Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. You can imagine how excited I was to have my love for the classics combined with my new love of trashy science fiction. I was in heaven! Today Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (which are probably even cooler than zombies!) is being released, and I'll be picking it up at lunchtime. I know these retellings have caused quite a stir amongst Austen purists, but I think the concept is simply genius. It gives a whole new meaning to "guilty pleasure."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wedding DIY

I'm so not a crafty girl. I want to be a crafty girl, but my desire to make every detail come out perfectly keeps me from delving into anything more complicated that knitting a simple scarf or the easiest of painting projects. That said, I can brandish a hot glue gun like pro, and I put my mad glue glun skills to work last week to whip up a super cute hair doodad to wear in my cousin's wedding this past Saturday.

Because I'm even less of a fancy-up-'do girl than I am a crafty girl, I was stressing last week as my cousin's wedding was quickly approaching, knowing I was going to be the only bridesmaid who wasn't having her hair "done." In a panic, I quickly ran to the mall on my lunch break last Thursday and gathered the following supplies: a branch of green orchids from A.C. Moore (cost: $3.99 + tax) and a majorly tacky hair clip from Claire's (cost: on clearance for $1.43 + tax).

That night, in less than five minutes, I took some wire cutters and clipped one large and one medium bloom from the stem of flowers. I nestled the two together with the top of the blossoms facing out so I could bury the cut ends under the petals, then I hot glued them together. I took some scissors and cut the unfortunate bow from the hair clip; I then coated the length of the clip with glue, centered the blossoms on the clip, and applied even pressure on the flowers until the glue started to harden.

The result was this simple-yet-chic doodad that made me feel "done" (well, that and a little teasing and hairspray by my mom) and added just the right splash of color (and matched our bouquets perfectly, too!).

So while the other bridesmaids spent close to $80 and almost three hours getting their hair done, I spent under $6 and had time to chill out with my other cousin and adorable her daughters. Score another one for the DIYers!

Blue Monday: Blue Skirts for Fall

In the last couple of years I've found my wardrobe shifting from being very heavy on the black to including more and more navy. I find it just as versatile as black, but a little softer, a little less "hipster" and more "prepster." And I'm digging that.

However, I haven't found a good way to transition my blue and navy pieces into my fall/winter ensembles. To me they have a nautical vibe that has made me see them exclusively as summer clothes. That's why the outfits in these pictures have so inspired me; the adorable, sweater-y tops in neutral colors, substantial hosiery and killer accessories create a marriage of both cool and classic that I want to integrate into my wardrobe this fall.

This outfit in particular just rocks my world:

I will definitely be copying it to the best of my ability. Stay tuned for how I make out.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Foxy Friday

Remember how last Friday I said I was hanging on to summer 'til the bitter end? This adorable watercolor by Renee Nault makes me change my mind. I'd love to spend an autumn afternoon with a good book, a tart, crisp apple from Cornell Orchards, and a frolicking fox, wouldn't you?

(via booklover via

Blue Collar Catwalk + Stella & Dot

Do you know Kyla? Look at how cute she is! She is seriously one of the most adorable, stylish girls I know. And today she's put her awesomeness to work wearing this necklace from Stella & Dot, a line of jewelry I sell.

If you don't know Kyla, you should go over to Blue Collar Catwalk and say hello. You should also check back in tomorrow when she'll be posting about these S&D earrings we're giving away. I'm so excited to be collaborating with her! Thanks, Kyla!

Wedding Weekend

My cousin is getting married this weekend, so I'm off to Philly this morning to begin the bridal party festivities. My cousin is a totally smitty and has been working herself to the bone on all the little details for the big event. I can't wait to see how everything comes together!

I also can't wait to:

  • eat breakfast at a nasty, old roadside restaurant in central PA with my parents this morning (greasy spoon breakfast--ROCK!).
  • get manis and pedis with my girl cousins this afternoon.
  • wear my favorite Betty Draper dress to the rehearsal dinner tonight.
  • spend some quality time with my cousins who live too far away (we grew up in the same town and, being an only child, they were like my I miss them a lot!).
  • play make-up artist and do my aunt's make-up for the wedding.
  • (hopefully) not look like a fool in my bridesmaid dress.
  • drink a whiskey with my dad and hubby at the reception.
  • drag my hubby out on the dance floor at the reception.
  • have brunch with my whole family on Sunday morning.

How about you?

p.s. This picture is a little teaser for a quick DIY I threw together last night. I'm so uncrafty, but am so, so psyched about how this project turned out. I'll have all the details next week!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Urban Art

Aside from wanting pretty much every pair of booties Urban Outfitters has this fall, I am also in love a lot of their artwork. As I posted before, I'm collecting nautical/ocean-themed pieces to create a gallery wall in our hallway. I think these whale and jellyfish prints would give just the right touch of whimsy.

In that previous post I was also talking about Geninne Zlatkis' amazing Etsy shop. Well, lo and behold, look who UO is also featuring right now:

They have two of Geninne's bird prints, transferred to wood and framed out in dark wooden frames. I just love this mushroom print. It just feels so '70s to me. I think it would look terrific in an all-white room complete with some of the new Jonathan Adler wicker furniture and pops of orange and avocado.
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