West Elm summer

This past weekend, I stopped by West Elm and checked out their new "white" summer collection.  L.O.V.E. (but wish they would lower their prices for what it is).  Anyway, here are some of my favorite finds.

Row 1: (1) Perforated Metal Hurricane, $29 small/ $59 large (2) Perforated Metal Garden Stake, $19
Row 2: (3) Patch NYC Ceramic Entertaining, $14 butterfly/ $22 thistle
Row 3: (4) Aluminum Cylinder Vase Collection, $19 short/ $39 small/ $79 oversized (5) Deconstructed Ribbon Pillow Cover, $44


Oversized watches

I love love love my black oversized D&G watch (and not only because DG are my initials!).  I bought it a couple of years ago and it is still totally fashionable and appropriate. 

But this summer, I think I want to invest in a WHITE oversized watch.  There is something so "summer" about a white watch.  It dresses up any outfit and I just like how it looks on an arm.  I'm really liking the Michael Kors options, but, judging from how difficult it was for me to find the perfect black oversized watch, I might have to keep looking (and trying on).

Seen any good oversized white watches lately?  Let me know!

Row 1: (1) MICHAEL Michael Kors Oversized Round White Bracelet Watch 44MM, $195, Bloomingdales (2) Marc by Marc Jacobs Watch, Women's Miss Marc White Plastic Bracelet MBM4522, $150, Macy’s
Row 2: (3) Fossil Watch, Women's White Resin Bracelet, $95, Macy’s (4) Michael Kors Ceramic Watch, $450, Nordstrom


A very (chin)chilly weekend

This past weekend in Chicago was soooo cold and snowy and non-spring-like-at-all.  Everything turned gray as the glimpse of spring weather was washed away.  It reminded me of a nail polish I saw on my sister-in-law a week ago, Essie Chinchilly.  I ran out to Ulta and they only had ONE left, so I took it as a sign, bought it and let my nails represent the weather and mood outside :).  I love this color - it's like a concrete/granite gray with a hint of taupe.  The color is subtle and doesn't throw itself in your face, but when you happen to see it, you notice the calm, neutral shade that is different and very chic.


Lean shopping

OK, so I'm not saying "start shopping at discount stores" or that "discount clothes fit just as well."  But I do want to prove that as long as you know what to look for, you can pull an outfit together at any store.

Main key is to keep it simple: white button-down shirt, black pants, basic heeled shoes, etc.  It is also very helpful (on the wallet) to pair inexpensive pieces with your other pricier clothes.  Nothing can beat a $5 t-shirt worn under an $80 cardigan!

I decided to challenge myself in compiling complete outfits at stores such as Sears, JC Penny, Kohl's and Walmart.  Took some searching... but I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the overall look and the drop-bottom prices!

The first outfit comes from Sears.  It's a casual look for the weekend, which sums up at $104!

This outfit is from JC Penny.  It keeps up with today's trends of boyfriend blazers and rounds out at $155!

The next outfit is right out of Kohl's, who now carries the latest line of Lauren Conrad.  Perfect for a night out with the girls, all for $138.

And finally, an outfit from Walmart.  Professional enough for work and fun enough for your personality.  Yep, this one is the "price leader," at $101!


Travel map

I love to travel.  And have always wanted a large-scale map to track my past and future excursions.  I just never realized how easy it would be to make one until I came across this post in Oh Happy Day!  

Start off by purchasing a 24"x36" map from National Geographic online (costs about $13) and foam core of the same size (can be acquired for under $5 at Home Depot).  Then, using spray adhesive (also under $5 at Home Depot), glue the map onto the foam core.  Add a frame, if desired.  And start pinning away!  Speaking of pins, there are so many options - anything from the regular round dot pins to mini flags to little metal airplanes. 

Quite the conversation piece!


Chic illustrations

Need a stylish print to hang up near your closet for daily inspiration?  Check out these signed and numbered illustrations from Looks Good to Me.
(1) Fancy Feet, $35 (2) Redhead, $35 (3) Please Don’t Stop The Music, $35

Another good option is Prismera Design.  A bit more pricey, but very fashionable.
(1) Coral, $20-46 (2) Emerald, $20-46 (3) Cadmium Yellow, $20-46


Summer is getting closer

I know we are still a few months away from shorts-and-a-tanktop weather, but I can't get my mind off summer!  Especially summer clothes...oh the skirts and dresses and short-sleeves, oh my.  Thought I'd share some outfits ideas to get you thinking about summer as well! 


Modern wood fence

When I get a house, I want a fence like this: horizontal wooden slats held by a metal frame.  It looks smooth, chic and totally different from the neighbors.  I also like the idea of keeping a quarter-of-an-inch space between each slat to achieve that perfect combination of openness and privacy.



Lonny (online) magazine

If you can't get enough of magazines and want another source of chic inspiration, check out the latest issue of Lonny Magazine.  It's filled with shopping finds and ideas for the home and closet.  Best part is if you find something you like, just click it and the direct link will take you straight to that product's website!


Kate's Paperie

Kate's Paperie has come out with a new Parisian-inspired collection of notebooks, cards and gift wrapping accessories, with the help of Christian Lacroix. Sadly, you have to order online, as the only brick-and-mortar stores are on the East coast.  Might be worth it...

Christian Lacroix Boxed Postcards, $17
Christian Lacroix Haute Couture Note Card Set ,$20

(1) Woven Pom Pom Flower Tie On, $5 (2) Pearl Gray Paper Flower Attachment, $6 (3) Woven Pom Pom Flower Tie On, $5


Divine twine

I've been noticing baker's twine used more and more to wrap gifts or add an accent to card envelopes.  Although you could probably find baker's twine at your local hobby store, I found some at Divine Twine.  I also grabbed some of their ideas on how to use this product (see below).  Love the idea of pairing craft paper with the twine (or maybe it's the butterfly card that I love...can't decide).

If you need a smaller batch (after all, an entire roll of baker's twine can be overwhelming), I would recommend Nice Package, at Etsy (of course!).

Home of Eco-Friendly Bakers Twine (240 yards), $15, http://www.divinetwine.bigcartel.com/
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