Wednesday, March 31, 2010

JC: the good and the bad

Happy Wednesday all!

So my latest J Crew order arrived yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised by the Chiffon Stripe Tier Tank - lovely color, not gaudy or clownish as I'd worried and the quality seems nice (though it definitely should be, given the cost). I'm keeping it, and think it will pair lovely with some navy's and blossom's.

That being said I was very disappointed by the Cropped Ruffle Cardigan and not for the reason I would have expected. The length was fine for me as it hit on my high hip (although I'm definitely on the short side being 5'4"), but the fabric was terrible in both quality and color. I ordered the cardi in light lilac and the picture is of this lovely, soft, dusty purple color... in real life, it was darker and more grape-y than the lavender I'd hoped for (I know I'm making up words). The color was 'off' from the online photo in my opinion, but not ugly. The deal breaker was the fabric used for this cardi - it was a flimsy, low-quality t-shirt material that looked like a wrinkled mess out of the box. I don't want to iron any more often than I need to, and a ruffle should look fun and adorable, not droopy and sad. Net net, this one is definitely going back.

We're scheduled for some warm temps tomorrow, so I might try and put together an outfit with the Chiffon Tier Tank - I promise to post a pic, no matter how amateur it might be.

Etsy Rocks My World

Seriously, Etsy is one of those inventive gadgets that I ask myself "what did I do before...?" a LOT. And it's funny, because a lot of people haven't even heard of this wondrous site, much less taken advantage of all of the lovely, charming, and creative goodies you can score on it.

Now me... I've made etsy my b!tch (read: freaking love etsy). As a recent bride, etsy was a savior - I found my invitations, vintage hair clip I plan to heirloom, and an adorable custom sign we used to direct guests to the ceremony site. For Christmas this year, the hubs gave me a sweet necklace and a handmade jewelry case, both of which I of course picked out (he definitely falls in the group of etsy non-users). And just today I found and bought the most amazing house decor that I can't wait to show off. It closely resembles something I'd been drooling over from Anthropologie, but was out of my price range (shocking, right? I mean, Anthro homegoods aren't in everyone's budget?? Who doesn't own a $90 shower curtain??). Anyhow, I'm saving the details of my latest fab find for another post.

In the meantime, as promised, I wanted to share some amazing bib statement necklaces that are sitting prettily on etsy, waiting for someone to pick them and click them.


I love the mix of this one’s gems, pearls and modest rosettes. The lavender color scheme is so perfect for spring/summer, and the price point makes this a steal!

Next up, is a stunner with vintage bronze and silver-toned beading. This one will make you stand out for sure, but teeters on the (right) side of gaudy with the neutral colors. Can't beat the price either!

Next up is an up-cycled statement made of vintage brooches by a new-to-etsy seller. A little pricier, but would look amazing with a LBD.

The next one is a work of art. I puffy heart this exquisite bib in a major way, but can in no way justify the pricetag. Maybe someone out there has a birthday coming up? This would make any old outfit birthday-ready. The rosettes, the asymmetry... Feels classic and trendy at the same time.

Less of a bib, but still quite a statement.

One last beaded collar to share that has me swooning. This one practically knocks me over both with it's beauty (the quality looks impeccable!) and unfortunately the price. Don't you think it's very much ala Olivia Palermo...

I found several other gorgeous pieces during my etsy browse, a couple of which are now on my wishlist. Maybe a summer splurge for me soon... but how do I decide which one to take home?

Andddd that's a wrap.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Olivia Palermo does something worthwhile

Love her or hate her, The City socialite and star Olivia Palermo is launching a jewelry line with Roberta Freymann. While I personally don't care for her as a person (in fact, I'd say she sucks at life), I do indeed admire her style AND think these stunning statement necklaces blow both Whitney's and LC's duds of a clothing line out of the water.

The collection will be called the Roberta Freymann by Olivia Palermo Collection. WWD reports that the inspiration for the collection of statement necklaces is Olivia's favorite cities (note, not just THE City). The collection just launched this spring at Roberta Freymann boutiques and you can view/buy a few pieces online. Prices for the pieces will range from $175 to $300, and I'm personally lusting after the one on the golden/mustard gross-grain ribbon.

Has anyone seen any other pieces from the collection? A quick Google search hasn't turned up other online retailers, but if you live in the NYC-area, you can check them out in person... I'd love to see more.

For tomorrow, I'm working on a post on statement/bib necklaces you can find elsewhere, just in case you're not feeling Olivia's style or price-point :)

(portions of above post found via Fabsugar)

Great sale on Ideeli today

While their shipping is painfully slow at times, I can't help but love ideeli for some of the fab steals I find on their. If you don't have a membership, send me a comment and I'll invite you asap.

Today there are some adorable light-weight coats/trenches that are under $100. Brand is called lola, which I'm not familiar with, but the cuts are cute and stylish! Pick this ruffled lovely for less than 80 bucks!

Or this muted grape bubble trench for 82 big ones.

I personally have enough grey outwear to sink a ship, but might just need to add that purple pretty to my hall closet.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I want my place in the sun...

There are so many adorable spring dresses in stores and online making me drool. But since coats are still a must-have here in Chicago and my legs are still a scary winter white hue, I just can't get excited to try on much less bring home any. So to live vicariously, here's a little outfit I've put together from one of my favorites designers, Kate Spade. Now let's turn up the sunshine!

I love the cut and the girly pink and coral stripes, and of course the lovely bow sash that would accentuate the waist. Buy it here.

I'd pair this lovely classic dress with these two gold-toned baubles.

I love the simplicity of the knots, and think they pair well with the charm and whimsy of the bracelet.

I'd complete the outfit with these adorable bright yellow patent peeps. Again, a bow, so maybe it's a little over the top or too matchy-matchy for some, but I think I'm smitten :)

Boo for tomorrow being Monday, but at least the forecast is for some warmer temps!

That's a wrap... and it's tied up with a pretty bow :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Che ore sono?

I'm getting super excited as our Italian vacation starts to near - we're T-minus 6 months, making it start to feel real. Recently, I've started mapping out our travels, we've booked hotels in both Venice and Florence, and have starting to of course think about what I'd pack. Seriously, isn't that sort of the best part of vacations? Plotting out all the cute outfits you're going to rock, AND some of the extra splurges because you definitely need them for your trip?

On that last note, I know I need to pare down my accessories to be a. easily transportable b. versatile and c. safe for travel. I know I wont be able to bring my beautiful engagement ring or the gold watch I wear every day without making ourselves a target for pickpocketing, so I've wisely invested in a more tame but equally as adorable watch for my trip. What I love even more, is it gave me an excuse to add a Philip Stein to my accessory collection. I think everyone could benefit from the brand's patented integrated frequency technology, which supposedly helps balance the body's energy flow and promote an improved sense of well-being. Hell yea, I need that. And honestly, I think it should be covered by insurance.

So while it's not covered even by Barack's new health bill, I've done a superb job in locating a Stein watch on a fab deal by scouring the interwebs (tooting my own horn while also comforting the hubs...). I love the neutral and durable silicon strap, and am equally as excited about the rose gold face - I feel like it's a good compliment to the two lovely watches I already own, seeing as they are yellow gold and a stainless steel.

See how I adeptly rationalize this unnecessary but wise purchase?

Check ebay and other online vendors for deals, or purchase from one of my favorite retailers, Nordstroms here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Is this so ugly it's cute?

I know I need to get my new-found love in peaches and lilacs in check before it turns into a full-blown obsession. BUT, before I do, can I post yet another couple of JCrew items that just appeared on their web that are calling to me:

First, the Chiffon Stripe Tier Tank, which I really like in the Light Ginger color. I really like that color, and if the shirt is being accurately pictured on the site, then I am truly crushing on the texture of this shirt. But then there is a part of me that worries that I'm being clouded by peach-lust... is this shirt really puke-meets-clown, and I can't see it?

Next up is the charming Cropped Ruffle Cardigan in Sheer lilac... how feminine and lovely can a cardi get??!! This one is going to be mine, assuming the cropped aspect isn't totally unflattering. I'll keep you posted.

Next up, I need to think about 'bottoms' for all of my delicate new tops. I wont rock white pants, am even quite reticent on khakis because I feel like they show ever crease, line and dimple... what are my other options? I'm considering the
Cotton Nico skirt in sandlewood, but I've not seen one single review on the many blogs I read. Has anyone tried these skirts on? Love it or hate it? I am a lover of a-lines, so I might need to give it a try.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Carbs and Black Eyed Peas = Prozac

It’s 5PM on Thursday, so officially (close enough) TGIF. This week hasn’t been bad, just super stinking sick of this cold Chicago weather, and busy as all at work, so I’m ready for the weekend. Who am I kidding; I’m always ready for the weekend.

Anyhow, back to today’s post… I work in the ad industry, so part of my job is to read magazines (I swear) and I came across an article in the April issue of Self that I actually cut out and now have tacked up near my desk. It’s all about food that is good for you. An no, I don’t just mean low-cal/fat/carb/taste, I mean it’s good for Y-O-U. Now I’m a sucker for all of this homeopathy mumbo-jumbo and I’ve jumped on quite a few supplement bandwagons. So yea, I ate (hardy-har) this info up!! There are actually 50 edibles that Self so kindly lists and details how they will help improve your mood, health, and even hair. Here are a few new tiddy-bits that I personally thought were surprising and helpful:

Pumpkin seeds. I love these suckers. But did you know they could also help headaches? According to the Headache Center in NYC (uhm, I think I might need to go there), 50% of headache sufferers are magnesium deficient. If you crunch on just 2 oz of toasted pumpkin seeds, you’ll hit your daily magnesium goal. Hells-to-the-yes! I have headaches so often my husband actually rations my Advil intake.

Coffee. I mean, do I need another reason to rationalize my intake? Yes I do. Ok, maybe notnot, but I’ve got one: Caffeine consumers make half as many errors in their day-to-day life compared to decaf fans. Take that you healthy freaks! Caffeine was also linked to lower risk for depression. Now if only I could manage to get in and out of a Starbucks without spending 8 bucks.

PMSing? Well apparently you should chug on some skim milk. Adequate amounts of calcium and D have been shown to be as effective at improving mood as hormones used to treat PMS.

And here are a few others… Almonds and Cherries can both help with relief of sore muscles. Oysters can help with dull hair. Shiny hair PLUS in da mood… wow, why don’t men take us to raw bars more often? And melon and bell peppers can help block the effects of UV light and combat wrinkles.

Anyhow, thought these were mighty interesting… and figured instead of just showing you the purse/blouse/chunky necklace I’m currently waffling over, I’d share some *other* useful info. Ta-daaaa.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Love it or leave it? What do you think?

I'm waffling on this necklace currently for sale on the sample sale site, Hautelook. The designer is tuleste market,it's reasonably priced, and gold-plated meaning it wont turn gray. However, it is borderline (??) huge. Is it too big?

I, or you, have 20 hours to decide.

I have a purse disorder

Though the trend has been out there for some time, I still love bows, ruffles, and unique/multi textiles. And any one thing that manages to pull these off in a combo is squeal-inducing.

While reading this month's InStyle magazine, I came across an oh-so-adorable grosgrain bag that is just so me, I had to do a little more searching online about the designer and the bag. The designer Anya Hindmarch, is HQ'ed in London, but has a speckling of stores in the US (unfortunately for me, none in Chicago). The website is fantastic with easy usability and great photos of the items, including scale images.

The particular purse I am coveting, is a beige colored Grosgrain shoulder bag with a tan leather and gold-toned hardwear strap. I can't seem to find that particular color online (boo), but found an almost-equally cute bright purple version of it. The bag style is Gracie, and the size looks perfect for both day-shopping and evenings-out. The bag aesthetic is timeless and classic but with the sophisticated pleating and lovely strap design, it doesn't bore you to tears.

For the price, I'd opt for the neutral beigey-taupe color, but again, I haven't been able to find it beyond the pages of InStyle. I'm also not familiar with this designer and their quality or durability, and let's face it, we're all a little tough on our purses from time to time, so would love anyone's reactions who may have been to a store or own one of their purses.

Another cute Hindmarch purse is this Grosgrain Corsage bag. I'm always a fan of the X-body style, and the color is divine.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Monday...

Beginning today and going through ??? Bloomingdale's is offering shoppers 20% off via it's Friends & Family promo. There are some great dresses/skirts that everyone should check out, including some from my favorite designers: Nanette Lepore, Leifsdottir (I mean, 20% off helps, but still, Leifsdottir, your prices kill me!), and the lovely Kate Spade. I mean how friggin' adorable is this top???

Here's the scoop:
Use code FRIENDS to take 20% off most regular-priced and sale merchandise.
Also, thanks to a heads up from Chloe, you can also take 10% off any purchase, and you can stack this on the 20% off! Use code HARPERS.
Lastly, if you spend enough, they'll ship it to you for free (aw, thanks). Get free shipping on all orders $300+, no code necessary.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thanks Jenna Lyons!

I'm sure tons of people received this email for "exclusive" access to a new JCrew Martha necklace, but I wonder how many people will actually buy this pricey trinket. Don't get me wrong, I think the necklace is super cute and vintagey, but I have no idea when/where I'd wear such a glittery bauble.

I've recieved similar email offers from JCrew, but never been tempted enough to pull the trigger - has anybody ever taken advantage of these early previews?

P.S. I know shouldn't be shocked by this, but yay for the snowy, slushy, cold first day of Spring in Chicago. And by yay, I mean boo.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Peach is the new Pink...

Many of my favorite bloggers have weekly features like "Wednesday's Wishlist", "Thursday Thrills", or "Titillating Tuesday" (well maybe I haven't seen that last one, but it could work), and really all it means is here are some amazing (beauty is in the eye) things that person covets, needs, WANTS.

Anyone who knows me would attest that I have a constantly growing wishlist, and perhaps, instead of buying everything on said wishlist, if I blogged about the items, I would satiate my hunger for 75 peach colored shirts without shelling out hideous amounts of cash. Problem is, 1. I don't have a catchy tag-line, and 2. I am not blogging consistently yet... so I can't promise it will happen weekly, but here is my go at my inaugural insert-catch-phrase shopping list. And just bring this post full circle, enjoy the parade of peach tops that I think are quite fab:

JCrew, you're killing me with all of your gorgeous springy tops:

Vintage canvas bow tank in Light Ginger

And lastly, the Featherweight cashmere rolled-sleeve cardigan in Light Shell, which I don't think is getting near the love it should. It is pricey, yes, but a perfect little cover-up that can go from casual to dressy if need be. I don't own it in this color, but bought the dusty copper, which I love and am getting quite a bit of use out of, and am waiting on the dusty shale to make its way into my grubby little hands...

Next. F21, you will forever be in my wardrobe if you keep offering me such cuties at such primo prices.

I'm not sure about the peasant look (feels rather 2005), but I'm definitely digging this top. Rosettes, peach, and what looks to be a super comfy fit for summer... I'm thinking it could be worth the whopping $24 price tag.

If I didn't already own a few lace pieces, I would easily find some hanger space in my closet for this little gal. Peach lace, exposed back zipper. Cute!

And while this is NOT a top, it is peach, and uber cute. I don't often even try F21 bottoms because their hemlines are too short for my taste (and age), but if you can rock it...

And LOFT, or ATL as I like to call you because you're still part of Ann Taylor in my mind... you also have some lovely peach tops that my mouse keeps lingering over.

Split Neck Shell with Floral Collar is totally adorable, but how does it fit?

The Pleated Square Neck Top. I love you delicate pleats! ATL is calling the peachy color Vanilla - definitely looks more like a blush or peach hue to me.

Ok, and while this is NOT peach, I wanted to share another WTF, someone's lost their mind item... seriously, 700 bucks for a sleeveless top? Jcrew, I love you, I spend way too much money on your cardi's, T's and jewelery, but seriously, this is absurd. Even the model can't hide her "this-stinks" expression. Meet the Deco Scallop Shell. Undoubtedly someone will see the value of this top, just not me.

And that's a wrap.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm a shrimp blogger, WTF??

I'm wasting time before dinner with friends, which is the only reason this next post exists. Because if I were really watching TV, I wouldn't be watching commercials... ah, I love DVR. However, I've got 30 minutes before I need to head out and I just happened to see a commercial that is so absurd, so hilarious, so annoying, so SOMETHING, that I had to post a short rant.

Taco Bell is airing a commercial that begins with an Englishman who says "I'm a Shrimp Blogger". And he says this as if it is a normal title and we should not be mind-boggled. Then he explains briefly some of his shrimp-blogging exploits. Then he tells us how he heard about the new Taco Bell shrimp taco and he wants one. Then the commercial ends with this Gent saying "I can't decide if I'm going blog about it or keep it for myself", or something to that effect. Ahhhhhhhh. That doesn't even make sense to me. I mean, can't he just eat the taco and then blog about it. Oh the conundrums of said Shrimp Blogger.

I'm pretty sure this is one of the worst ads I've seen in a while. I'm also pretty sure that if they existed, I'd hate elitest Shrimp Blogging yuppies. Lastly, I guess T-Bell better hope Shrimp Bloggers exist, because who else would be crazy enough to order shrimp from Taco Bell?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Despite my previous post, I still love Anthro...

And especially Anthro giveaways!

And a lovely fellow blogger, Peggy is hosting a fab Anthro Apron giveaway. Visit and become a follower for your entry. Yay, Peggy!

Some people have lost their minds

Dear Anthropologie,
You know I love you immensely, but WTF is this?
And to each their own, but seriously 5-stars from more than one reviewer?

On the other hand, I'm so annoyed that so many other people like this same JCrew sweater in the lovely dusty shale color, thus making it literally impossible to find. I've even tried a "we find it", with zero luck. If anyone sees it in a size medium, please put it on hold for me! I must have this little lovely.

UPDATE!!! I just checked and the shale sweater was there, in a medium! Eeks! Why am I so excited for an over-priced sweater? I don't know, but I sure am...!! Seriously, they just declined my 'find it for me' yesterday... and now it's right there. Online. Watch me get an email saying it was all a prank on poor old me.

Lastly, I will defend my Ohio roots always, but seriously, they are making it hard... Being a marketer myself, I'm torn between shaking my head and applauding the ingenuity.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring has Sprung!!

Or at least it needs to!

I KNOW I'm not the only gal daydreaming about fun, floaty tops and peep-toe shoes. On the other mittened-hand, I'm wondering if I'm the only person that finds this purse adorable... I love it in that super sweet rosey peach color. But is it so ugly it's cute?

I don't know that I care... Gimme.

Innnneresting, very inneresting: JCrew to partner with Net-A-Porter

U.S. retailer J. Crew is in collaboration with premier online luxury fashion retailer NET-A-PORTER.COM, who has just launched their Wedding Boutique! The award-winning website presents unparalleled access to the most popular styles of the season from top designers around the globe with international express delivery. Since its opening in June of 2000, the site has grown to feature over two hundred international designer brands available to over 140 countries, generating approximately 1.8 million women viewers each month. The site includes shoes, apparel, accessories, lingerie, and swimwear, as well as premium denim of top designers including D & G, Zac Posen, Versace, Prada, Burberry, Tory Burch, Fendi, and Seven for All Mankind, among many more. Although, currently J.Crew caters strictly to North America and Japan, this May the retailer will go global through NET-A-PORTER.COM where it will sell a collection of casual luxury goods, as well as exclusive styles and colors made especially for the site.
-Anna Elyse Lautmann

This partnership is rumored to kick-off this May, and I'm personally quite intrigued at how this will play out.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Oh Officer Tom Hanson, you're still so dreamy

Who isn't absolutely-freaking thrilled about this??!! I'm actually a bit surprised he's on board, so not trying to get ALL my hopes up, but definitely crossing ALL my fingers and toes.

In an interview for this week's EW cover story, Johnny Depp -- who became a reluctant 1980s teen idol thanks to his role as undercover officer Tom Hanson on the cop show "21 Jump Street" -- said he is interested in the idea of possibly making a cameo appearance in the planned "Jump Street" movie.

"I'm hoping they'll let me do a cameo," Depp said with a laugh. "Someone will say, 'Whatever happened to Tom Hanson?' and they'll find me somewhere hoarding jars of peanut butter and shaking in my underpants."

The "Jump Street" movie is in development at Sony Pictures, with Jonah Hill on board to write, executive produce, and potentially star.

Puffy-hearted him then...

And still swooning now...