Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Inspiring styling at Chanel & Zac Posen

So, as far as the Pre-Fall 2009 collections go, I've already zeroed in on my favorite trend & chosen my favorite collection but there was something about the Chanel & Zac Posen collections that stayed with me: the styling.

First up is Zac Posen. I love the 40s-end-of-the-depression mood. Something sultry about it. View complete colletion here.

Then there's Chanel. According to writer, Sarah Mower, Karl Lagerfeld's collection explored "Coco Chanel's exotic history with men...'Paris-Moscou' was Lagerfeld's theme." The reds. The golds. So perfect, especially for the season. View complete collection here.

(top photograph at Zac Posen by Marcio Madeira for, bottom photograph courtesy of Chanel via

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009: Hit the ground running

Ah, it's that time of year again. The time when we can wipe the slate clean if we want & create some resolutions. I'm not totally into New Year's resolutions, but I have an idea of some goals I'd like to achieve (run more, read more, spend more time with the people I love, etc.) & want to kinda hit the ground running on them. Mainly, though, I've been thinking back to a quote I read from Sheryl Crow, of all people, a year or so ago:

"...I always figure if you're not being a vessel of love, then you're wasting your time..."

I think I'll sort of let this be the underlying, guiding force for me in 2009 & beyond. Happy (early) New Year's everyone! Cheers!

(quote from, photograph by sandysshots from Flickr)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wear it: yellow & gray

Yellow + gray was probably one of the biggest color stories of 2008 (at least in the event planning world). Made me ask: why not wear this fabulous combination? Found this look at Impressionen. Looks just as gorgeous on the body as it does on a place setting. Love it.

(photograph from Impressionen)

Made 'em: cappuccino brownies

Remember these cappuccino brownies? Well I finally got around to making them. Lots of them. Was part of the gift bags I gave to some of my friends (this was my solution to gifting on a budget, by budget read: last-year-of-school-I-have-no-money). I also made a batch for a family Christmas party. These are definitely best hot. Liked 'em a lot. View the recipe (via Martha) here.

Nellie & Cadie portrait

So, my dear friend (& loyal blog reader), Carrie, got a very special gift for Christmas. Her sweet fiance commissioned my mother to create a painting of Carrie's beloved girls, Nellie & Cadie. Love it so much. I wanted to keep this myself (I love a dog portrait) & had to share!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Loving these illustrations

I'm obviously an avid reader of The New York Times. For a number of reasons. Illustrations by Trisha Krauss is one of those reasons. Found her site, Trisha Krauss Illustration, & knew instantly I had to share! Absolutely beautiful!

(image by Trisha Krauss from The New York Times article, "Along the Banks of a River, the India of Old")

Gift jam

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Was great on my end. Spent lots of time with fam & friends (including my 3 favorite people: my parents & brother)! Loaded up on baking/running/book gifts (my family knows me well). Good times all around. So, anyway, wanted to post some of the DIY/homemade-type projects I busied myself with, including this blueberry jam (recipe via Martha). 2 ingredients. Super easy. Perfect.

Love berries. Would challenge anyone to find a more beautiful color at the paint/fabric store. Impossible:

Boiling berries & sugar...yum:

Perfectly adorable jars my grandmother purchased for me while she was out and about. So sweet:

Love it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A few of my favorite things...

Books + magazines + Christmas = irresistible! Love this shelf tree from ijm via Core77. So perfect.

So, happy holidays everyone! Hope everyone has a peaceful & happy holiday! Can't wait to catch up in '09! xoxo

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Etsy love

Haven't been on Etsy in forever. Stopped in yesterday & found my current obsession: Necklush. Free-form necklace/scarf/headband. Some have been screen printed. Love.

(all photographs from Necklush via

Monday, December 22, 2008

2009 Pre-fall Favorite

More pre-fall 2009 coverage...I've picked a favorite: Naeem Khan. Love this collection!

View complete collection here.

(photos courtesy of Naeem Khan via

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Excuses, excuses...

Wow, seems like it's been months since I last posted...well like everyone else, I been a lil busy. A graduation, mini-road trip, Christmas party, baking, lots of quality family time, shopping, wrapping, DIY-ing, etc. Just wanted to dip in & say I hope anyone reading this is savoring the season! I think I'll head to bed now! xoxo!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Did I mention I have an insatiable sweet tooth?

I have an insatiable sweet tooth. All the time. This morning I'm making a grocery list for all the baking I plan on doing Saturday. Exciting. Stumbled on this photo while reading The New York Times this AM. Yum.

Read article, "Perfection? Hint: It’s Warm and Has a Secret", here.

(photograph by Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

When do they sleep? + Modern spin on monochromatic

I almost forgot-this is the time of year when designers show their pre-fall collections. I know, I know. Between the fall, spring, resort, couture & pre-fall collections, it can be daunting. It makes me wonder (especially about designers like Oscar de la Renta, who presented a ton of clothes in his pre-fall show): when do they sleep? Oh, well, got to love it.

So, was looking at the collections when I found these pieces from Narciso Rodriguez. I must admit my favorite look right now is black tights + black heels + bright dress but there may be a day when that look is dated. This monochromatic approach is a great alternative. I think it works best from head-to-toe with dress the same exact tone as tights & heels. If worn with confidence I think this look is great!

See complete Narciso Rodriguez collection here.

(photographs by Kevin Sturman from


Love food. Obviously. Favorite food is Indian. By a landslide. So much so that once, when I was in San Francisco, I made Dedi & Eric accompany me to an Indian restaurant where we basically ordered EVERYTHING on the menu. I wanted them to taste everything so they'd see why I loved it so much. It worked. They are believers, too, now!

So, I was excited last night to try the new Indian restaurant on Franklin, Mint. It opened in September. Palak chicken was amazing. Plus, Mint gets extra points for their oversized, beautiful white plates (presentation was lovely).

(photograph by Jordan Timpy from The Carrboro Citizen)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Books I'm hoping to read in 2009...

Whitney & I hit up 3 bookstores Friday while doing some Christmas shopping. Well, actually just 2 (we visited 1 twice). Love a bookstore. Loved browsing some of the newer releases in the front of the store. Here are 3 books I hope to read soon!:

1) Do you matter? How great design will make people love your company by Robert Brunner, Stewart Emery & Russ Hall (for the hell of it-I'm a design lover)

2) The Complete Robuchon by Joel Robuchon & Robin H. R. Bellinger (because it looked fascinating)

3) Chanterelle: The Story and Recipes of a Restaurant Classic by David Waltuck & Andrew Friedman (because the photography of food inside is art)

(all 3 images from

Surf Wedding

Considering there are 3 surfboards within view of my computer where I blog every morning here in the condo, it was only a matter of time before this wedding inspiration board was born. This one is all about the destination, the waves, the friends. Soundtrack? I'm thinking Jack Johnson. "Breakdown" by Handsome Boy Modeling School featuring Jack Johnson is a classic. Listen to it here.

Row 1, L to R: bride on board photographed by Amy Neunsinger from Brides, cake by Fiona’s Cakes and Pastries photographed by David Spence for Amy Raab Photography from Brides, beach ceremony photographed by Paperwhites Photography from The Knot, ring-bearer's pillow photographed by Chrissy Lambert Rhodes from Brides

Row 2, L to R:
chairs photographed by Angie Silvy Photography from The Knot, groom with groomsmen photographed by Paperwhites Photography from The Knot, French Polynesia photographed by Fiona Stewart for The New York Times, “bridesmaid” in hammock photograph from Easy Living

Row 3, L to R:
orchid favor boxes photographed by Chrissy Lambert Photography from The Knot, flip flops from Flip Flops by Keeley, surfing at Rocky Point photograph from Surfline, fruit & group dining photographs from Fiji’s Turtle Island Resort

Monday, December 15, 2008

This is awesome.

Found these Nintendo Wall Graphics (from Amazon) on Core77's Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide 2008. $69.99. Sweet!

Love the Core77 Gift Guide. Check it out here.

Heaven is a place on earth

Ventured to the NC mountains for the weekend. Was awesome. Lots of quality time with the fam. Stunning scenery everywhere. Southern folk art that was to die for. And of course, I found a little slice of heaven: an amazing Christmas tree farm near Grandfather Mountain. So much fun. Will share more maybe this evening/tomorrow morning when I get time.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Design Inspiration

Crazy about this. Love this holiday decorating style because a) it's unexpected/not cheesy & b) it could be replicated without spending much: ribbons from the craft store + ball ornaments & some kind of decorative garland from any discount store. So simple & pretty.

(photo by Ditte Isager from domino)

Behind the 'Australia' wardrobe

Love the article from The New York Times titled, "Socks to Blouses, a Film Finds Its Look." It's all about the Australia wardrobe. Catherine Martin is the genius behind the wardrobe (she's also the wife of director, Baz Luhrmann). The research behind her designs (as outlined in the article) is amazing. So are the composite images (one is above) Martin created prior to filming. Makes me want to see the film for the costumes alone.

Read full article here.

(image by Catherine Martin via The New York Times)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

More inauguration fashion

Last month I posted a pretty rendering by Isabel Toledo of what she would design for the Obama family to wear for the inauguration. Well, since I LOVE designer sketches I was thrilled to see that WWD was featuring an extensive-40 image!-slideshow composed of designer sketches for Michelle Obama (including day & night looks by everyone from Monique Lhuillier to Zac Posen to Christian Lacroix)...

So, here are my favorites. For day, I would love to see her in this white Peter Som number & for night, I love this Koi Suwannagate gown. Which reminds me, Koi Suwannagate was one of my favorites during NY fashion week...I think my exact words on that post were: "If I had one fashion wish it might be that my spring closet was filled with pieces from Koi Suwannagate’s spring collection."

Anyway, the slideshow is gorgeous! Check it out here.

(images from

When getting up is hard to do

So, woke up this morning to rain, terribly dreary skies & unseasonably warm temps (70 degrees in December? Really?). Not sure if this is what Bing meant by "when the weather outside is frightful," but, oh, well. I am sure that it was hard for me to get out of bed, though. Even harder still, if this were my bedroom. Love it.

(photo from HousetoHome)

Decking the halls

Ah, so I'm finished with school for a bit. Nice. My reward to myself for surviving another semester? I scrubbed my house from top to bottom. I know, I know-doesn't sound like much of a reward, but I've been wanting to do this for weeks, but haven't been able to find the time. My reward for scrubbing the house from top to bottom? I decided to break out some Christmas decorations. Did only minor decorating since the tree is coming this weekend but it definitely got me into the spirit!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Art Basel Miami Beach 2008

In honor of the recent Art Basel Miami Beach 2008, I wanted to post some of my favorite pieces/photos featured on the event site. Love these 3!

Top: 2007 Jablonka, Cologne, Berlin
Center: William Klein, Nina + Simone, Piazza di Spagna, Rome (Vogue)
Bottom: Washburn, New York

Note: I've cited these images here as they are cited on the Art Basel Miami Beach site. For more information please visit their official site.

Good eye, elegant ads

I'm a fan of a great editorial piece, photography or ad work & I fell in love with this image on the Elegant Baby site when doing research for one of my $10 gift posts. It exudes style, elegance & drama. It's obvious that the creative mind behind this has an amazing eye. Love it.

(photo from

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Finals, eek!

Final exam time. Will be off doing that for a couple of days. Tried to post a little more than usual this AM to compensate. Will check back in maybe Wednesday! x0x0

Outlandish Gifting

So, I went on & on about resourceful gifting (gifts under $10) in previous posts. Today, I'm concerned with really outlandish (the sky's the limit-fabulous) gifting. When I heard that Christie's is auctioning a large collection of Marilyn Monroe photographs December 16-17, I thought to myself, some lucky recipient is going to have a very merry Christmas! Something like this would be fabulous indeed!

Read article on this here.

More info on the Christie's site.

(photo by Richard Avedon circa 1957, released by Christie's to the AP via

Awesome DIFFA Design Slideshow

Found this image from The San Francisco Chronicle (via Apartment Therapy) & fell in love. The article features a slideshow from DIFFA's annual Dining By Design event. The event pairs design students with mentors...the result: something stunning like this! This chandelier is made of plastic water bottle bottoms. I know! Absolutely gorgeous job by Academy of Art students!

Read more about the event on the DIFFA site here.

Read The Chronicle article here.

(photo by Eric Luse for The Chronicle)

Look what my friend, Peggy, made!

Love all things handmade, love bags & love love love my friend Peggy, so I knew I had to share this when she emailed it to me. It's a messenger bag she made herself. Love it. Peggy is quite the sewing machine, as of late. She's made TONS of cool stuff like this. Look forward to sharing more of her stuff here!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Add this to my bucket list

Ok, so one day I want this: a portrait of myself not against some dramatic backdrop or seated in some amazing chair, but instead buried in a huge, fabulous, heavenly gown.

Top image is of Kate Moss from the British VOGUE December 2008 Fantasy issue. Bottom image is of Sarah Jessica Parker, as Carrie Bradshaw, from the last episode of HBO's Sex and the City. Moss wears Dior Haute Couture & Parker wears Versace Couture. Love.

(Kate Moss photographed by Nick Knight for VOGUE via, Sarah Jessica Parker photograph from

'Amarillo by Morning...'

More wedding inspiration board goodness. I'm always up for a challenge, & creating a wedding around an Amarillo/western/rustic-sophisticate theme was QUITE the challenge (don't believe me? try Googling images for 'western wedding' & you'll see what I mean, not all classy, folks)...but I'm happy with this.

Soundtrack: Oh, no question, George Strait's "Amarillo by Morning"-it's what I listened to making this board. Listen to it here (the 3rd one from top plays entire song).

Column 1, T to B: couple shot by Peter Hannert from Brides, menu photographed by Faith West Photography from Brides, candlelit reception photographed by Nazarin Montag from Brides

Column 2, T to B:
pony shoe escort cards photographed by Nazarin Montag from Brides, chandelier reception photographed by Thayer Allyson Gowdy from Brides, bridesmaids photographed by Kathryn Barnard from Brides

Column 3, T to B:
red barn photographed by STCIMAGES.COM from Brides, wedding sign photographed by Nazarin Montag from Brides, cupcakes photographed by Belathée Photography from Brides, lakeside reception photographed by LaCour from Brides

Column 4, T to B:
Seattle String Trio photographed by Kathryn Barnard from Brides, flowers by Ariella Chezar Design photographed by Victor Schrager from Brides, Amarillo postcard from Legends of America

Friday, December 5, 2008

Design Books

Since I'm a design book junkie, I was thrilled to see an ELLE DECOR feature (via Point Click Home) titled "ELLE DECOR EDITORS' PICKS: The Season's Top Ten Books." Titles chosen by the editors include everything from The Legendary Estates of Beverly Hills to Marie-Antoinette & the Last Garden at Versailles to Valentino: Themes and Variations.

See complete title list + slideshow here.

(image of Living in Argentina from ELLE DECOR)

I can't resist, looks too good!

So, I had such a good time making (& eating) that chocolate-pumpkin layer cake for Thanksgiving that I thought I'd start planning some Christmas baking. Found this recipe for cappuccino brownies on the Martha Stewart site & my mind is made up. I'm excited! I'll keep you posted on this/let you know how it goes.

View recipe (+ more great holiday baking ideas) here.

(photograph from

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Embellish it yourself

Was delighted when I stumbled on this image at This plain cardigan was spruced up with some simple DIY touches. Love it. Totally looks like something you might pay a lot for, at say, that store that rhymes with "Santhropologie." Ha. Love it.

One reason I love it is because FOR YEARS I've fantasized about making my own clothes. Like, actually once a year filling up a sketchbook with designs, then buying fabric & actually having them made/making them. I know, a little crazy. Have yet to have the time/resources/energy for that BUT what a great alternative this is.

See slideshow here (includes link to purchase Complete Embellishing, a book that tells you how to do this kind of thing).

(photo of Kayte Terry, author of said book, in one of her designs, via Glamour)

Please, take care of yourself

So, my obsession this week is fruit salad. Totally addictive. It's so refreshing this time of year + as of Monday, Trader Joe's had an awesome deal on bananas! I've been keeping my fridge stocked with fruit for about a month now, because I know this time of year is so busy, I want snacking to be easy, smart & thoughtless. For me that means lots of grapes, apples, etc.

Anyway, this got me thinking...most of the women I know are juggling exhausting schedules this time of year. Celebrating. Entertaining. Studying. Nurturing. Shopping. Traveling. Working. You get the idea. I just know a lot of the people around me are so busy taking care of everyone/everything else right now & with that kind of schedule it's easy to forget to take care of yourself. Don't. Even if means adding silly things to your to-do list, like "drink water" or "run" or "take vitamins." Just remember to take care of yourself this season.

(photo from

PS: when my schedule is crazy I also like to know exactly what's coming up & here's a little insight into what's going to be on this blog in the coming days-NYC/design-themed post, Amarillo-inspired wedding board, some holiday recipes, winter fashion, etc.