Fall into fashion

As the trees begin changing their look, so should your closet.  Sadly, it's time to put away that hot pink skirt and those kelly green sandals.  But before I see a pout on your face, I want to remind you that fall is a great time to work the natural, earthy tones. 

You can create an outfit with shades of browns, but make sure to add some character and style by incorporating different textures, fabrics and subtle color.

(1) Marciano Matte Croc Embossed Frame Satchel, Eggplant, $165, Nordstrom (2) Downtown denim trouser in clean rinse wash, $108, J. Crew (3) Beaded chiffon glisse cami, $175, J Crew (4) Cotton/silk ruffle open cardigan, $80, Banana Republic (5) City Bright Sparkling Hoop Earrings, $19.95, New York & Company (6) BP. 'Uptown' Wedge Pump, Chocolate $69.95, Nordstrom

(1) Coby Sweater, $128, Ruehl, (2) Slub cotton swirling flowers tee, $45, J Crew (3) Ombré silk scarf, $58, J Crew (4) Daughters Of The Liberation High Waist Trouser, $98, Anthropologie (5) Classic Leather Flipflops, $50, Ruehl

(1) City Bright Crystal Teardrop Chandelier Earrings, $16.95, New York & Company (2) Mixed Gauge Cowlneck Sweater, $79.50, Martin & Osa (3) 7 For All Mankind Keira Archer Heights Trouser, $128, Anthropologie (4) Open-toe wedge, $79, Jessica Simpson


Not-so-touristy souvenirs

I have returned from vacation and San Francisco was a blast! To remember my memories, I wanted to bring back a souvenir that had some meaning to me, but I struggled to find anything more than a plastic trolley ornament or a cheap t-shirt. I think a great souvenir is an everyday, useful item that, also, reignites your travel memories and experiences. 

Here are some things I would have loved to have brought home to remember San Francisco.

A prison-striped scarf to remember Alcatraz.

Colored socks to remember the "Painted Ladies".

A wooden chair with straight lines to remember the orange Golden Gate Bridge.

A sleek-fabric grey dress to remember the Sea Lions from Pier 39.

A crooked floor lamp to remember Lombard Street, "the crookedest street in the world."

And stemless wine glasses to remember Napa Valley.


Travel in style

I LOVE to travel! Let me clarify...I love to explore new cities and experience new things, but I can do without packing a suitcase, taking my shoes off at the airport security line and sitting in a tight, grey airplane for hours. To lessen the stress of actual travel, I think it helps to use bright colors and cozy fabrics when packing your essential traveling "companions".

Below, I put together a look book of some of my favorite choices. What is something you will never travel without?

Enjoy and I will be back next week!

Row 1: (1) Britto Collection by Heys USA A New Day 30" Spinner Case, $700, Neiman Marcus (2) Noise Cancelling headphones, $349.95, Bose (3) Cotton/Cashmere/Silk Wrap Cardigan, $95, Ann Taylor
Row 2: (4) Eagle Creek Compact Comfort Travel Pillow, $25, Moosejaw
Row 3: (5) Destinations: A Travel Journal, $19.95, Amazon.com (6) Fred Perry 'Holdall' Travel Bag, $87, Nordstrom (7) Multidot Pattern Bag Tag, $18.00, Flight001.com (8) Passport Case, $24, Etsy.com
Row 4: (9) Sleep Mask Kimono, $22, Flight001.com  


Beautiful bathrooms

In the usually small space of a bathroom, we spend lots of alone time. Whether it's brushing our teeth, soaking in the tub or flipping through a magazine, it's time for our thoughts to race and our bodies to relax. The bathroom is a great place to create ambiance and mood, whether it's "spa getaway," "modern luxury" or "girly lavishness."

This small room deserves your time and attention. First, start by envisioning the perfect place for time alone - is it quiet and peaceful or bold and colorful? Next, sticking to your style (i.e. modern, traditional), select the major elements that need to be replaces - bathtub, vanity. They do not need to be part of a "pre-packaged" set. Just make sure the pieces blend well together and create the look you are trying to achieve. Finally, accessorize! (For those of you who cannot remodel the entire bathroom, skip straight to step "accessorize!"). Things such as mirrors, scales, shower curtains, lights, containers and rugs all add to the perfect recipe of your personalized retreat.

I have put together some bathroom designs that instantly give me a feeling of luxurious relaxation. Let me know your ideas of the perfect bathroom retreat.

(1) Thick green grass mounted chunky, $75, Amazon (2) Agave pendant lamp, $88, Chiasso (3) Parsons Double Rectangular Vessel Washstand, $3,095, Restoration Hardware (4) Turkish Towels Ash Collection, $84, Restoration Hardware (5) Classic Floor Mirror, $299, Potterybarn (6) Kos 180 geo tub, $5,000, Kositalia.com (7) Mosaic Silver Unglazed Glass Tile, $300, Lowe’s (8) Tusk vases, $99.98, CB2 and Faux Miscanthus Grass, $9.99, Michael’s

(1) Grass Cloth Wallpaper, $38.90, Lowe’s (2) Chatham Triple Sconce, $199, Restoration Hardware (3) Ruffled Shower Curtains, $96, burkedecor.com (4) Mirror-Framed Mirror, $149, West Elm (5) Classic Victorian Clawfoot Tub, $3,110, Restoration Hardware (6) Flameless Candle Set, $29.99, Amazon (7) Shaggy Rug – Lavender, $69, Target (8) Glass Apothecary Canister Gift Set, $175, Restoration Hardware


Wishing you a stylish weekend

Weekends are for relaxing and enjoying life.  Whether you are discovering a new museum exhibit, checking out a new downtown restaurant or shopping with friends, style AND comfort are important.  And, no, comfort does not deter style, it just creates a fun challenge.  It is also a great opportunity to wear some clothes that are just not too appropriate for the office.

Here are a couple of stylish and comfy outfits.  How do you style your weekend wear?

(1) Watercolor Graphic Tee, $39.50, Martin & Osa (2) The Anton sweater, $98, J Crew (3) Melie Bianco Patent Bowler, $95, Piperlime (4) City-fit surplus chino, $65, J. Crew (5) Jack Purcell® distressed sneakers, $65, Converse

(1) Karlie 100% Cashmere Cardigan, $130, Club Monaco (2) Ultra Lace Trim Cami, $34.50, White House Black Market (3) Single-wrap skinny belt, $29.50, J. Crew (4) Paige Premium Denim Lake Destruction Blue Heights Cuffed Skinny, $168, Anthropologie (5) Flats, $199, Marc by Marc Jacobs


Just can’t get enough of cocktail rings

The accessory that I will NEVER tire of is a great cocktail ring!  It adds so much pizzazz to any outfit.  Here are some of my favorite picks.

Row 1: (1) Apt. 9® Jet-Tone Crystal Floral Ring, $20.00, Kohl’s (2) Shiny saucer ring, $42, Banana Republic (3) Royal Bohemian Stone Ring, $98, Juicy Couture (4) Wide pavé band ring, $40, Banana Republic (5) Les fleurs flower ring, $75, Kate Spade
Row 2: (6) Peacock Dome, $40, Fossil (7) City Bright Flower Bed Cocktail Ring, $22.95, New York and Co. (8) Nirvana Black Diamond Ring, $260, Swarovski (9) Sterling Silver Crystal Floral, $175, Simply Vera Wang (Kohl’s)
Row 3: (10) Tea party ring, $49.50, Banana Republic (11) Chic Mocca Ring, $260, Swarovski (12) Eclectic Glam Ring, $98, Juicy Couture (13) Jet Crystal Bubble Ring, $18.00, Guess (14) Blue & White Agate Ring, $195, Barney’s


Item of the week

Hourglasses are said to have been invented in Egypt about the middle of the third century. People would carry them around, much like we do with watches today. Although a bit impractical in today's world, hourglasses still have a purpose – and that is home décor. The smooth lines and trickling effect of the sand create an unexpected and attractive accessory for your desk or next to an arrangement of photo frames. Today, this ancient creation features sleek lines, minimalistic design and comes in an array of colors, to blend with your modern room design. The juxtaposition is elegant and striking.

Hourglass, $29.95, CB2


Fashion Trend: High-waisted skirts

Oh, the clean, sexy lines of a high-waisted skirt.  Look for it this fall, in an office near you!  Although this staple piece of clothing never seems to actually leave the scene, this fall offers new ways to wear the high-waisted skirt.

How about pairing the dressy high-waisted skirt with the currently-in-style, lovable, casual, long boyfriend cardigan?  Add a colorful blouse and textured belt to polish off this professional, yet approachable outfit.

(1) Forever extra long cardigan, $89.50, J. Crew (2) Silk Frances cami, $88, J. Crew (3) Trinitie pump, $99.95, Steve Madden (4) High-waisted lightweight wool skirt, $80, Banana Republic (5) Skinny studded belt, $40, Banana Republic

Since the high-waisted skirts provide so much room up at the top, it's usually a great idea to add a belt as an accessory.  Some skirts, however, already come embellished.  This outfit uses a studded skirt as the main attraction, with a muted top and a flashy purse.

(1) Michael Antonio Women's Maverick Ankle Boot, $57.95, Endless.com (2) Studded Pencil Skirt, $79.50, The Limited (3) Elbow Sleeve Turtleneck, $48, Nordstrom (4) Orange Grab Bag, $248.00, Michael Kors (Macy’s)

The high-waisted skirt is the perfect way to update the old "business suit".  But don't forget to bring out the skirt suit for daily wear to the office - create a more casual look with a printed t-shirt and colorful accessories.  The final look is clean and professional, while still bringing out your personal style.

(1) Muted Stripe Suit Blazer, $128, Ann Taylor Loft (2) Double-Faced Synthetic Pencil Skirt, $69.50, Ann Taylor Loft (3) Slub cotton embroidered flowers tee, $42.50, J. Crew (4) Skinny Patent Belt, $19.50, The Limited (5) Silk-ribbon chain-link necklace, $98, J. Crew


Housewarming gifts

Checking out your girlfriend's new condo can be a fun and enjoyable time (especially with a bottle of wine). But, sometimes, picking out the housewarming gift can become surprisingly stressful. Not knowing your friend's color scheme or the mood and feel of the new place can create some hesitation when selecting a gift.

A good rule of thumb is to keep color-neutral, so it blends well with whatever color scheme the hostess may have already selected.  Another good rule is to find some useful piece that will appeal to the hostess (so, if she likes flowers, get her a beautiful vase!).

Here are some gift ideas that will not only be appreciated for their uniqueness in design and style, but will also be used inside the new digs.  Feel free to share your housewarming ideas!


Row 1: (1) Wave Magazine Rack, $140, MoMA (2) Lumen oil candle shadow projectors, $48, MoMA
Row 2: (3) Pig chip and dip server, $40, Umcommongoods.com (4) Giro apple slicer, $38, Amazon
Row 3: (5) Kosta Boda Glass Heart Bowl, $100, Nordstrom (6) Nikko Fountain, $24.95, Z Gallery (7) Folding Bird House, $50, MoMA
Row 4: (8) Embossed Numbers Wall Clock, $49.95, Crate and Barrel (9) Shelter Dogs Coffee Table Book, $19.95, Border’s (10) Sand Hourglass, $29.95, Z Gallery (11) Sterling Forest Wall Art, $79, West Elm
Row 5: (12) Shesham Wine Rack, $32.95, Crate and Barrel


Item of the week

As a renter, I run into the problem of "white walls".  But I found a gorgeous solution: wallflutter wall decor.  These come in the shapes of flowers or, as you see below, dragonflies.  You can create an entire wall of flutter!

Wallflutter Wall Décor, $29.95, The Afternoon


"This is where the magic happens"

To quote the many athletes and celebrities from MTV's Cribs, the bedroom is "where the magic happens." For this reason, among many others, this is one of the most important rooms in your home. It's where you relax, recuperate and get ready for the next day.

Before picking out the colors or furniture for your chic bedroom, close your eyes and imagine your ideal haven. Are you seeing vintage glamour, Zen serenity, modern sleekness or something else completely different? Jot down your vision – remember to note the colors, mood, lighting and sounds. Use this list as your guide when selecting elements for your room.

I leave you with some of my dream bedroom options. Yes, I like that modern look!  What are your bedroom "must haves"?

(1) Garden Stool – Silver, $99.95, Z Gallery (2) Simply Vera Vera Wang City Night Comforter Set & Accessories, $410, Kohl’s (3) Ripple Fold Drapery, White, $421, The Shade Store (4) Narcisse Bed - Platform Bedroom, $1465, KMP Furniture (5) Boltrona ottoman, $650, KMP Furniture (6) Rider Table Lamp, $39.50, CB2 (7) Faux Coral, $44.95, Z Gallery

(1) Shaggy pillow, $39.95 and Daisy pillow, $24.95, CB2 (2) Wood blinds, $300, The Shade Store (3) Random Light, $980, Design Within Reach (4) W Contemporary Platform Bed , $1395, KMP Furniture (5) Wavelength Table Lamp, $79.99, Target (6) Meadow sculpture, $68, Chiasso (7) Yield Wide Swivel Vinyl Chair, $299, Target (8) Potted Fountain Grass, $39.95, Z Gallery


All about you

There I said it...for once, it's not "all about me". But, in all honestly, I am interested to know more about YOU!  You can skip over the long walks on the beach and get to the good stuff: are you trying to redecorate your living room, do you need an outfit for the office holiday party, did you come across the latest fashion trend?

Let me know! I would love to hear your opinions of the world and of my blog!

Fashion Trend: The sweater dress

Although this trend first hit the streets a year ago, it does not seem to be slowing down.  As the weather continues to creep south, more and more sweater dresses are making it out of the closet and back into the spotlight.  This versatile piece can be worth dressy or comfy, but is always sure to make a fashionable statement.

Below are some new ways to style the sweater dress.  What are some of your favorite fashion trends?

By adding a crisp white shirt under the dress creates a new way to show off the sweater dress.  Perfect for the office with a low boot, opaque tights and a bling bracelet.

(1) Slim stretch shirt, $59.50, J. Crew (2) Ribbed cowlneck sweater dress, $89.50, Banana Republic (3) Audrey Slim Triangle Briefcase, $235, Lodis (4) Beaded stretch bracelet, $26.50, Express (5) Opaque Tights, $12, Urban Outfitters (6) Bertek Zipper & Buckle Short Boots, $139, Enzo Angiolini (Lord & Taylor)

A perfect outfit, complete with a glam long necklace and tall boots, when running from the office to the bar.  The monochromatic nature of this outfit establishes a professional, yet still sexy, look.

(1) Multi-chain leaf necklace, $48, Banana Republic (2) Italian merino sweater dress, $110, Banana Republic (3) Campo bag, $298, J. Crew (4) Sheer Tights, $12, Urban Outfitters (5) Shanti Boot, $298, Via Spiga

For a casual look, try pairing the sweater dress with capri tights and flats.  Easy, comfy and stylish.

(1) Cropped knit legging, $28, Banana Republic (2) Crochet Lurex Sweater Tunic, $68, Arden B. (3) Silver Long Belcher Charm Necklace, $198, Philosophy by Alberta Ferretti (4) Calvin, $83, DV by Dolce Vita

By simply adding some accessories, the simple sweater dress creates a dramatic and fashionable statement.  Dark leggings and shoes melt away into the background and help keep the focus on the dress and its statement accessories.

(1) Garnet Flower Pin, $25, White House Black Market (2) Tucking Sweater Dress, $128, Guess (3) Wide equestrian belt, $60, Banana Republic (4) Trinitie Pump, $79.95, Steve Madden (5) Mini Rib Tight, $14, Urban Outfitters
For a night out, leave the leggings at home and, instead, grab a fun clutch and large earrings.
(1) Rattan Frame Clutch, $379, Rafe (2) Cowl-Neck Sweater Dresses, $36.50, Old Navy (3) Tinsel Earrings, $575, Eddie Borgo (Barney’s) (4) Carrilena, $98.95, Guess


Style at work

Going to work everyday can be dreadful, but your desk doesn't have to be! Taking a few minutes to set up a personal oasis can result in a less stressful and more enjoyable work day. Add your own flavor to an ordinary and, almost always, dull, cubicle.

To begin, start with the essentials, such as a stapler, file folders, or a calendar. Add some character to these items by searching for cool designs or your favorite colors. This might take some time, but it will definitely be worth it. Once you have the basics covered, it’s time to add some fun and flair – think of photo frames, lamps and other fun accessories that you don’t always find on a desk. Nothing is out of bounds. Just make sure there is a common theme or color to blend all the elements into a cohesive and, therefore, calming environment.

Here are a couple of ideas that stylishly combine office needs with wants.

(1) Juliana Diamonds 3 x 3 Silverplated Photo Frame, $25, Paperchase (2) Classic Letterbox, $20, Russell+Hazel (3) 2010 Deluxe Wall Calendar, $34, Suzy Jack (4) Signature Pattern Binders, $24, Russell+Hazel (5) Blackberry Letterpress Notebook, $13, Snow & Graham (6) Letter-Size Interior File Folders, $3.99, Container Store (7) Two-Drawer Storage Box, $24, Russell+Hazel (8) L-O-V-E Brushed Metal Letters, $50, Kate’s Paperie (9) Baroque Photo Frame, $16.99, Target

(1) Stockholm Magazine File, $9.99, Container Store (2) Elise Table Lamp, $150, Design Within Reach (3) Bella Leather Portfolios, $55, See Jane Work (4) Pencil Cups, $10, See Jane Work (5) Document Clothespins, $12, See Jane Work (6) Aluminum Letter Tray Stacking Blocks (Set of 4), $40, Design Within Reach (7) Stockholm Storage Box, $9.99, Container Store (8) Chrome Stapler, $25, Swigline (9) 2010 Wall Calendar, $26, Snow & Graham


Labor Day Weekend

Happy (early) Labor Day! Hope everyone enjoys the extra day off this weekend. 

During holidays such as Labor Day, there is nothing more patriotic than wearing your red, blue and white. Well...more like red-ish, blue-ish and white-ish...while a dash of neutrals and accessories!  To achieve a non-traditional patriotic look, avoid items that have all three colors already combined, try a stripped or patterned design and add some unexpected and shiny accessories. The end result is a chic outfit that still maintains that national flair. Here are some ideas for your Labor Day weekend.

(1) The Anton sweater, $98, J Crew (2) City Style Sleeveless Stripe Ruffle Top, $29.95, NY&C (3) Bon mot small coal, $155, Kate Spade (4) Gorgeous cotton trouser, $78, J. crew (5) Black Diamond Bangle Set, $70, Ann Taylor (6) Giovanna, $67.95, Jessica Simpson

(1) BDG Raglan Sleeve Tee, $28, Urban Outfitters (2) Cashmere zip-front hoodie, $188, J. Crew (3) Cubic Zirconia Ring, $45, Ann Taylor (4) Luxe Shimmer Scarf, $45, Ann Taylor (5) Flats, $199, Marc by Marc (6) 7" chino short, $42, J. Crew


Item of the week

I think we have all noticed that it's Back to School time.  School buses are in your way during the morning commute, Target has dedicated 8 aisles of space for school supplies and everyone is a buzz about parent/teacher conferences. 

But there is something that makes me look forward to this time of the year: all the pretty stationery, notebooks and writing utensils!  There is always something new - a design, a color, a format.  And this week, I fell in LOVE when I found this adorable notebook, which I plan to use at work.  Yes, you can be professional and pink at the same time!

Pink Love Leatherlook Journal, $9.71, Piccadilly (available at Border’s)


The forgotten accessory

I find that many people attempt to “accessorize an outfit” by simply adding a chunky necklace or a large cocktail ring.  Although these can make powerful statements, I challenge you to try a forgotten accessory: the bracelet. Talk about big-impact!

(1) Silvertone Crystal Brooch Cuff, $30, White House Black Market (2) Bangle, $42, Kate Spade (3) les fluers flower cuff, $125, Kate Spade (4) Rhinestone Ribbon Bracelet, $295, Vera Wang (5) Butterfly Bracelet, $48, Betsey Johnson (6) Frilled filaments bracelet, $188, Anthropologie


Lounge in style

Your home is the best place to show off your chic style.  It's where you live, relax and entertain.  Fully furnished rooms you see in magazines may seem overwhelming, but it's simple when you take it step-by-step. 

First, select a neutral - browns/tans or grey/blacks - and find the major pieces with those tones, such as a couch/sectional, large rug and media storage.  Be sure to include patterns and textures that add depth to your design.  Then, spice up your living quarters by pairing the neutrals with some bright, yet harmonizing colors...navy and yellow, grey and pink, brown and teal, for example. 

Feel free to combine multiple colors and don't be afraid to change your mind (and room), whenever you desire.  Incorporate your favorite colors, shapes and objects.  So long as you stick to what feels right to you, you can't fail.  Below are some modern and fun living spaces to provoke your imagination!

(1) Dupioni Silk Pole Pocket Drape, $239, Potterybarn (2) Meryl Floor Lamp, $299, Crate and Barrel (3) Wave ambient fireplace, $1,198, Chiasso (4) Molto sectional pieces, $3,000, CB2 (5) Lima Alpaca Throw, $169, Crate and Barrel (6) Emma Rug, $179, Potterybarn (7) Kira table, white, $468, Chiasso

(1) Peyton Linen Cotton Grommet Drape, $178, Potterybarn (2) Newkirk Media Collection, $798, West Elm (3) Boka table lamp, $179, Crate and Barrel (4) Gerber Upholstered Chairs Collection, $299, Target (5) Annex mocha sectional pieces, $2,300, CB2 (6) Vista Coffee Table, $599, Crate and Barrel (7) Carmen Chartreuse Pillow, $49.95 and Henley Citron Pillow, $24.95, Crate and Barrel
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