New finds for the house

Although I avoided Black Friday like the plague, I got a bit bored by Saturday...so I ventured out into the crowds.  And I was pleasantly surprised to find some adorable house decor! 

Some finds from Potterybarn:

Row 1: (1) Faux-Shearling Throw, $99 (2) Cloisonne Bottle Stoppers, Set of 2, $19
Row 2: (3) Wine Chokers, $5 (4) Barona Square Condiment Set, $49

And some from Crate and Barrel:

Row 1: (1) Ornament Centerpiece, $49.95 (2) Four-Part Server, $19.95
Row 2: (3) Crimson Vases, $8.96-16.95 (4) Acacia Salad-Serve Set, $39.95


I spy jade nail polish

Chanel is guilty-as-charged for starting the "jade nail polish" trend by featuring it in their Fall 2009 fashion shows.  Now it's everywhere!  (trust me, once I bring this up to your attention, you will start noticing it on your co-workers, neighbors and friends).  It's already on the "celebrity/model scene."

Although the actual "Jade" polish by Chanel is out of stock mostly everywhere (and being sold for over $100 on eBay), there are many alternatives.  MAC has a "Peppermint Patti" shade and Illamasqua, which is available at Sephora, has a "Milf" shade.  I decided to go with Essie's "Mint Candy Apple" color - and L.O.V.E. it!

It's a great alternative to all the usual hues of pink.  Spice up the holidays!


Favorite celebrity styles

I get some style inspiration from seeing the current trends on my favorite celebrities.  Whether  they are on the red carpet or being bombarded by paparazzi, they know how to best dress their body (or better yet, their stylish knows best).  Here are my favorites.

I love Lauren Conrad's style for the glamour.

I love Jennifer Aniston's style for the simplicity.

I love Eva Longoria's style for its everyday chicness.

Who are your favorites?


Fashion trend: t-shirts

The plain old t-shirt just got a boost.  No longer is a t-shirt reserved for those lazy weekends, to be worn with slouchy jeans and flip flops.  The new t-shirt is still just as comfy, but now also carries an air of chic.

Now when selecting a t-shirt to mix into your wardrobe, do not go with the two-sizes-too-big promotional tee you got at the Taste of Chicago last summer.  Instead, pick a more fitted tee with a splash of color or a fun print/embroidery.

Here are some ideas on how to pair your t-shirt with skirts, jeans and even suits.

(1) Ruffled Celosia cardigan, $98, J. Crew (2) Midnight tweed mini, $98, J. Crew (3) Textured jersey bouquet tee, $36.50, J. Crew (4) Bertek Zipper & Buckle Short Boots, $139, Enzo Angiolini (5) Pearl Cluster Bracelet, $40, Ann Taylor

(1) Slub cotton beaded Florence tee, $52, J. Crew (2) Dream varsity stripe cardigan, $88, J. Crew (3) Amaya pump, $97.95, LAUREN Ralph Lauren (4) Clean Cut Mini Skirt, $59.50, The Limited (5) Mia north-south tote, $275, Hype

(1) Tissue boyfriend V-neck tee, $29.50, J. Crew (2) Classic wool cardigan, $49.50, Gap (3) Pave Ball Necklace, $55, Ann Taylor (4) Waxed Tote Bag, $260, Martin+Osa (5) Wool twill studio trouser, $138, J. Crew

(1) Pure body V-neck T, $16.50, Gap (2) Colorblock cardigan, $78, J. Crew (3) Belle fleur mirror ballet flats, $258, J. Crew (4) Felted-wool bistro mini, $88, J. Crew (5) Pearl and Pave Cluster Necklace, $80, Ann Taylor

(1) Super 120s two-button jacket, $230, J. Crew (2) Textured jersey ribboned collier tee, $49.50, J. Crew (3) Brenda 2 Pump, $69.99, Jessica Simpson (4) Favorite-fit Super 120s Durham pant, $135, J. Crew (5) Mixed Media Dome Satchel, $450, L.A.M.B.

(1) Cropped-sleeve long cardigan, $69.50, Gap (2) Tissue stone necklace tee, $125, J. Crew (3) Celine Pump, $167.99, Report Signature (4) Hip-slung flare leg denim trousers, $59.50, Gap (5) Kirra Dakota Basketweave Bag, $29.50, PacSun


Surprising and serene jewelry from Fossil

I must admit that I don't think of Fossil when I think jewelry and accessories.  However, having received their latest magazine in the mail, I was "forced" to flip through it!  And, dare I say, I found some super adorable necklaces and bracelets.  Check these out.

Row 1: (1) Peace Dove, $25 (2) Vintage Glam 3, $48 (3) Feather Pendant, $42
Row 2: (4) Plated Metal Nugget, $42 (5) Glitz Bee, $28 (6) Glitz Collar, $48 (7) Leather Twist Bracelet, $48


I spy a magazine tray

I saw an adorable way to store magazines on your coffee table. I have a coffee table that has a bottom shelf, which is perfect for storing magazines and such, but they often get messy and look chaotic. By using a serving tray as a magazine “rack”, I can throw all my magazines right in and they will always look like neat and organized. How fabulous! 

I found some trays that could do the task, but am still searching for the perfect one.

Row 1: (1) Wood Trays, $59, West Elm (2) Kali Rectangular Tray, $74.95, Crate and Barrel
Row 2: (3) Serving Tray, silver, $14.99, Target
Row 3: (4) Kali Square Tray, $64.95, Crate and Barrel (5) Bradford Tray, $69, Potterybarn
Row 4: (6) Format tray, $34.95, cb2


Legwarmers forever

With the fall weather being so unpredictable in Chicago, I don't want to rush into winter gear if I don't have to.  For that reason, I still wear some pumps without any leggings or trouser socks.  But if the weather turns chilly, my legs feel the breeze immediately.  Solution: whip out your trusty old (or new) legwarmers!

I wear mine under jeans with simple black pumps.  This way, they are not noticeable, but they keep me warm.  And, honestly, if they peek out when I'm sitting down, they look like a highly-fashioned accessory.

Here are some glamour shots of my trick.

What do you think?


Jimmy Choo for H&M

Starting this Saturday, November 14th, H&M will be launching a new line of Jimmy Choo shoes, bags and clothes (for women AND men) created specifically for H&M (read between the lines: AFFORDABLE!).

There will probably be a huge line and chaos, but $99 for a pair of Jimmy Choo sandals = worth it!

Check the H&M website for store locations, as only a select few will carry the Jimmy Choo products.  In Chicago, the H&M at 840 North Michigan will be your golden ticket.

Some things you can expect to find (notice the prices!):


Cold weather accessories

Burrr, it's getting cold in Chicago! The wind, the sleet, the freezing temperature: it all adds up to a miserable time whenever you have to leave the house.

Something that does always make it easier to get out of the protective indoors: adorable cold weather accessories! The hats, the scarves, the mittens! That's an entire new wardrobe that people in warm places do not get to enjoy. So, if you are a Chicagoan or live in any other freezing cold city, take advantage of the chilliness and coordinate a warm and chic outfit to weather any storm.

Row 1: (1) Marled cable knit beanie, $24.50, Gap (2) Cashmere Wrap , $198, Nordstrom (3) Juicy Couture 'Iconic' Pop Top Mittens, $55
Row 2: (4) Arm warmer, $55, UGG Australia (5) Carminda Boot, $1,200, Ralph Lauren (6) Earmuffs, $195, Tory Burch
Row 3: (7) Buttoned Ribbed Neck Warmer, $78, MICHAEL Michael Kors (8) Merino Rib Tight, $22, Martin + Osa (9) Classic Cable Faux Vest Scarf, $48, Lauren by Ralph Lauren


Vases and fillers

People do not take full advantage of this fun piece of home decoration. It’s simple, fun and so versatile that you can keep it around for years and just change out the filling.

First of all, pick a glass bowl or vase.  Look for something on the larger scale so you can easily fit many different object inside.  It can be an oval bowl or a tall rectangular vase.  Any of the following will work:

Row 1: (1) Water Lily Bowl, $24.95, Crate and Barrel
Row 2: (2) Square Vases, $29, Potterybarn (3) Sid Vase, $10.95, Crate and Barrel
Row 3: (4) Fin bowl vase, $24.95, CB2

Next, the fun begins!  There are so many options when it comes to vase fillers.  Let's start with the most popular: glass gems and stones.  You can usually buy these in just-the-right-size packaging at any local craft or home decor store.  I love the look of tiny clear balls or natural looking rocks.  You can also add some brightly colored gems for a popping effect or add a candle in the middle of the pebbles for a more serene setting.

One of my current favorite vase fillers is moss, real or fake.  It just looks so natural and elegant.  Get a bunch of differently sized moss balls or try having just one large moss ball for a big statement.

If you are a fan of the beach, water and sand, you can capture that scenery in a vase.  Try adding sand, shells, starfish, dried grasses.

For a dinner party, it's fun to play up the vases with food!  Brightly colored foods, such as green apples, yellow lemons or red cranberries always look delicious.  Food such as shelled nuts and cinnamon sticks create a natural, striking centerpiece.  You can also fill those large vases with a mouth-watering amount of colored candy, such as Jelly Bellys.

It's easy to create seasonal creations by simply adding the correct elements: orange oak tree leaves or candy corn for fall, pine cones or faux snow for winter, sliced limes for spring and green grasses or plastic butterflies for summer. 

Vases can also be used as a creative and stylish way to store some basic necessities, such as toilet paper or rubber bands.  Or as an adorable collectors bowl for your favorite knick-knacks, such as matchbooks or wine bottle corks.

This holiday season, use your left-over ornaments or jingle bells in a new way - as a vase filler.  It brings the holiday season into your home without the cheesy holiday music.

Most importantly, don't forget to put a little bit of YOU into your home decor.  So whether it's river rocks or apples, have fun and don't be afraid to experiment.  You never know where you'll find inspiration: a twig, a photo, coffee beans, cinnamon stick....


Be a fashion designer

I came across this awesome website, looklet.com, that allows you to be a fashion designer and create complete looks on a blank canvas (aka model).  Although it will not have ALL the possible tops, pants and accessories, Looklet has a huge selection that ranges from Marc Jacobs to H&M.  It's a great way to inspire many of your own chic outfits.

Here are some that I pulled together.


Finds at The Limited

So, I stopped into The Limited since they just sent out their "get $15 off any purchase" coupons. 

I found a super cute bling belt which would look great with any black top or to glam up a simple dress.  I think it would also look striking looped into the jean belt loops with a solid top. 

Then I found a super soft, orange infinity scarf.  Cute with my coat and also cute as an accessory to a sweater. 

Think I should get either?


Candlelight in a bottle

I love candlelight. It just adds so much warmth and drama to any room for any occasion (or non-occasion).

I came across these gorgeous Wine Bottle Hurricanes that are made out of actual wine bottles! Each bottle is hand cut and polished and comes is sizes that range from 14-20” in height. Just add a pillar candle and voila!

The reflection of the light against the bottles creates a spectacular scene. I can see this on your Thanksgiving table.

Bonus: can also be used outside!

"Big Bottle" Wine Hurricanes, $99-249, napastyle.com


Fashion trend: the infinity scarf

With each new season comes a new trend.  This fall/winter, it's the infinity scarf.  And, oh, how cozy it is!

The infinity scarf is a long loop that is worn doubled over around the neck.  Without the typical scarf "ends," this version always looks like you just walked off of a modeling shoot with the perfectly wrapped accessory. 

Wear it with your winter jacket or wear it with a long-sleeve shirt, in place of a necklace - it's versatile, cozy AND stylish.  Sign me up!

Row 1: (1) Rachel Comey, $190, gargyle.com (2) Soft Knit Cowl Loop Scarf, $54.50, Martin + Osa (3) Single Infinity Scarf, $45, Echo
Row 2: (4) Circular Scarf, $24.50, American Eagle
Row 3: (5) Scrolling Infinity Scarf Solid Grey, $90, etsy.com (6) Shaker Infinity Scarf, $39.50, The Limited (7) Lambswool/Cashmere Infinity Scarf, $75, DKNY
Row 4: (8) Mysterious Scarf, $34, Roxy (9) Organic Luxury Scarf, $68.50, etsy.com (10) Sparkly Striped Circular Scarf, $24.50, American Eagle (11) Cable Knit Infinity Scarf, $28, Roxy


Cool things for your walls

Good old Etsy!  Never know what you are going to find. 

I came across elementclaystudio.etsy.com and OMG, how adorable!  They are "simple" white square ceramic tiles, but the design and texture are unbelievably cool.

You can display cluster different designs of the same size or you can buy multiples of one tile and create some serious wall decor.

5” Square Micro Tiles, $200, etsy.com

9” Square Magnolia Tile, $250, etsy.com

9” Square Barnacle, Textured Tile, $250, etsy.com


Can't have too many dresses

It's true.  A girl can't have enough dresses.  And there are soooo many option, how can you ever get bored of this wardrobe choice?

All from Victoria's Secret
Row 1: (1) French terry pleated tube dress, $49 (2) V-neck dress, $48 (3) Fleece v-neck tunic, $49
Row 2: (4) Strapless Bra Top dress, $68 (5) Merino wool oversize collar sweaterdress, $119 (6) Marled cowlneck sweaterdress, $88

All from Ruche (shopruche.com)
Row 1: (1) annabelle navy polka dot dress, $36.99 (2) striped halter service dress, $31.99 (3) perfect lbd little black dress, $36.99
Row 2: (4) pomegranate peonies shoulder tie dress, $29.99 (5) teal petals tiered tank dress, $44.99 (6) racerback tank sweater dress, $32.99

All from Lulu’s (lulus.com)
Row 1: (1) Spectacle Dress in Grey, $33 (2) Witchy Woman One Shoulder Dress, $55 (3) Sahara Shift Dress, $55
Row 2: (4) My Sharona Dress, $37 (5) Tickled Pink Dress in Silk, $64 (6) Beaming Bella Dress, $70
Row 3: (7) Frontier City Dress, $66 (8) Clara Bow Strapless Dress, $64 (9) Cloud Nine Dress , $37
Row 4: (10) Modesty Dress by O'Neill, $48 (11) Guilty Pleasures Dress by Matix, $56 (12) Moretti Sequin Dress, $62

All from Anthropologie
Row 1: (1) Fields Of Gold Dress, $148 (2) Abydos Dress, $228 (3) Button Duo Dress, $168
Row 2: (4) Bull's Eye Dress, $158 (5) Black & Bright Dress, $168 (6) Betine Dress, $138
Row 3: (7) Belle-Of-The-Ball Dr, $188 (8) Flight-Of-Swans Dress, $298 (9) Monochromatic Corset Dress, $188
Row 4: (10) Storm-Of-Shapes Dress, $158 (11) Bustling Avenues Dress, $148 (12) Emerald Cut Dress, $298
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