Sold Out

I online window shop quite frequently- meaning, I often spend a lot of time looking for cute things, but I prefer to purchase in person. The major exceptions to that rule are online sample sale sites like Gilt Groupe, Haute Look, and Rue La La. The deals on those sites are far to good to pass up.

However, from time to time, I find something in an online store that has no brick-and-mortar location that I simply must have. I was browsing Pixie Market, and I came across this Tulip Chiffon dress. I loved the flattering shape, the perfect draping, and the perfectly on-trend tie dye print.

I was all ready to order this dress, and mentally, I was picturing wearing it to weddings, brunch, and various other occasions. Then, I saw the two sad little words: SOLD OUT. I'm hoping that Pixie Market restocks this dress, but here it is for you to see. Isn't it perfect?

Quote of the day

"If you show up looking a bit more glam than the rest, what's the worst-case scenario? You look the best in the room?"
-Rachel Zoe

Man, I feel like a woman

When I first saw menswear style oxfords or brogues last summer, I never thought I could pull them off. A year later, I've decided at least one pair needs to find a home in my closet. I love that they are borrowed from the boys, but can look very feminine, depending on what they are paired with. I'm thinking they would be super cute paired with a dress for the warmer Fall months, and with cuffed jeans and a blazer come Winter. I think that they would be a great substitute for a ballet flat while remaining comfy, and definitely more unexpected.
I'm not going to try and say that oxfords are a timeless staple in any girl's closet, because that probably isn't going to be the case. Fortunately, several "fast fashion" labels have come out with versions that are affordable, even if you will only wear them for a season or two.

At under $25, these Vintage Oxford Flats from Forever 21 are the perfect version for the girl that may still be uncertain that brogues are a look she likes or not. These shoes may not last a lifetime or be super comfy, but for a trend-loving girl, they are a economical way to get in on this season's footwear choice. I prefer the tan color, although the black is a little less of a statement piece.

Steve Madden always has fun, trendy shoes for fairly low prices, and at under $80, the Trouser Oxford is definitely gunning for first place for this style in my book (and closet). I love the laceless look- it is cute, and a fun twist on what will surely become the ubiquitous shoe this fall.

Alexander Wang has a particular talent for creating wait-list forming accessories. For this fall, I'm predicting the Rayna oxford flat will be joining the ranks of the designer's bestsellers. Laceless, and definitely different, this style is sold at These are a major splurge at $450, but, if you've got cash to burn, Alexander Wang is always a fun place to light the fire.

So, which is your favorite? Will you be purchasing brogues this fall?

Quote of the Day

"Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable."
-Coco Chanel

Aggressively Accessorized

A dear friend of mine once remarked that I had a rather "aggressive" taste in jewelry. It's a pretty safe bet that if a piece is sharp, studded, or just plain different, I'm going to love it. Its not that I have a fascination with the macabre, I just really like jewelry that it is a bit different that the expected dainty charm. I don't load on the jewels, so the effect isn't overbearing, but I do like to add some pizazz to an otherwise simple outfit. Here are my most recent picks, at every price point.

The Fetty of Brooklyn has three lines, all at various price points. I ordered the Shot to the Heart necklace, from the Urban line (the least expensive of the line's offerings) last summer, and wore it daily for months. I just love the little twist on the standard heart pendant, and at $10, the price really can't be beat.

I recently discovered nOir Jewelry, and I'm currently coveting this Amelia Wrap Sword ring, which is $70. The ring comes in both Gold and Rhodium plating, and I think I prefer the Rhodium. Although this may hamper one's typing abilities, it would be a perfect addition for a night out. I love the wrap around style, and this ring certainly packs a big punch in a small package.

Tom Binns, in my humble opinion, is the master of the aggressive accessory. This 24-karat gold plated Studded Cuff bracelet is a major splurge at $450, so it will not be mine any time soon, but, if it was, I would pair it with everything from jeans and a t-shirt to my fanciest cocktail dress and heels.

Do you find yourself drawn to aggressive accessories? Or am I alone on this one?

Quote of the Day

"Living is like tearing through a museum. Not until later do you really start absorbing what you saw, thinking about it, looking it up in a book, and remembering- because you can't take it all in at once."
-Audrey Hepburn

Holga Love

This Spring, my boyfriend surprised me with what may have been one of the best gifts I've ever received: a Holga camera. Basically, a Holga is "toy" camera that uses 120mm film (some use 35mm, but most Holga purists opt for the 120). The Holga is a medium format camera, and since it is entirely made of plastic, light is leaked through some of the edges, creating a really interesting look. Some of the photos are almost all white, except for the center of the image. The photos have such a vintage feel- I love knowing that someday, I will be able to look at these photos in the same way that I look at photographs from my parent's youth, and they will not be just a super-sharp digital photo. The images are printed as a square, in a 5 inch by 5 inch format, instead of the traditional 4 inch by six inch. Although some Holgas have flashes, mine does not, so I'm limited to using it during the day.

If you already own a Holga, you are probably used to people commenting on the camera's unusual look. My brother even thought that it was an actual toy! Something else that is so vastly different from a digital camera is my favorite part about shooting film is that it feels like every roll I get developed is like picking up a surprise- I never really know what I'll get until I see the finalized product.

One of the trickier things about shooting 120mm film is finding a place to have it developed! My local drugstore photo center operator looked at me like I was a crazy person when I inquired as to whether I could have the film developed at their lab. If you are in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend Wilson Camera for purchasing and developing film. They are incredibly knowledgeable, and really have helped me figure out my camera.

5 inch by 5 inch frames aren't easy to come across, so I recently ordered the cable photo cord from CB2, and I'm loving it! It is an easy way to quickly display my new prints, and the magnets that are used to attach the photos to the cords do not damage the photos like a pushpin would.

If you are interested in purchasing a Holga for yourself, I have the Holgawood version, available at Urban Outfitters, for $48. I prefer Kodak brand film, because it seems to be easier to load into the camera.

Here are a few of my favorite prints so far:

Brett and I at the Top of the Rock observatory deck in NYC. From the deck, you can see all around the city, Central Park, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. It is absolutely breathtaking.

This is my nephew, Carson, at his 4th birthday party.

A few of my best friends on the planet.

The Brooklyn Bridge

My family and I rented a rowboat at the Loeb Central Park boathouse for an afternoon, and here was the lovely scenery we were surrounded by as we paddled.

Do you have a Holga? Or are you strictly a digital camera user?

Loving right now: Stripes

Recently, I've developed a bit of a style crush on striped shirts. I am loving that the classic French girl style staple is back, but, much to my disappointment, the only striped shirt I own had a hole in it when I went to wear it yesterday. This style of shirt comes in so many forms, and there are endless possible ways to wear it. I plan on wearing mine with jean cutoffs, and an army jacket. Another possible combination is tucked in to a floral skirt with cute sandals. In my quest to find a replacement, I've come across these four options as contenders.

The relaxed striped knit top from Forever 21 is a steal at $13.80, and has a perfectly slouchy look. I love the shape of the sleeves, and this style would be very forgiving if you had a big lunch, too! I would pair this option with navy shorts and my favorite pair of red espadrilles.

Next, at Gap, there is this striped cuff-sleeve t. This option has the classic stripe that starts just above the chest, which is the classic French way to wear this style of top. The cuffed sleeves make the top look a little more pulled together, and a little less t-shirt-ish. I would pair this option with a colored skirt, a chunky brown leather belt, and sky high brown wedges. Currently on sale for $13, one could afford to stock up on this top!

This vintage bateau top from J. Crew has a classic boat neck style neckline. I've always found this to be a flattering style to the shoulders of most women. I would style this just how J. Crew did on their website- with beat up boyfriend style jeans (I would cuff them at the ankle), lots of heavy gold jewelry, and again, super tall sandals or wedges. At $36, it is a little more than I usually pay for a t-shirt, but, it is a staple that would be worn often.

Last, we have a twist on the traditional. This striped sequin boatneck tee is also from J. Crew, but is completely different than the option above. Available in black stripes and rose stripes on a cream background, the stripes are actually covered in sequins! I really like how they dressed up what is usually considered to be a very casual piece. I would try to keep the rest of my outfit simple while wearing this. For day, I would probably pair it with cropped and cuffed khakis, ballet flats, and a strong gold necklace. For evening, I'd mix it up a bit by tucking in the front of the top to a floral mini and pairing it with some black gladiator heels. At $72, it is definitely a splurge, but you will be the envy of all of your friends.

So, what do you think? Do you like the sailor shirt? Which of the above options are your favorites?

Quote of the Day

"You are always with yourself, so you may as well enjoy the company."
-Diane Von Furstenburg

Loving right now: Piperlime's summer shoe sale

The words "shoe sale" are so sweet to my ears. Especially a summer shoe sale. My summertime sandals never seem to last as long as my winter pumps, boots, and ballet flats do. Not to be totally nasty, but let's be real: feet sweat in summer, which wears my cute wedges out quickly! No reason to be alarmed, though: Piperlime's summer sale is on, which, in Arizona, means it is time to buy new shoes, since we won't be wearing anything other than sandals on through October. I've done the footwork (pun intended), and have come up with my three favorite picks of the sale.

The Scan by Franco Sarto is on sale for $60 in the black (pictured) and $50 for the light tan. I remember reading in a magazine that podiatrists recommend a slight heel wedge as the ideal shoe for back pain and foot discomfort, and the Scan would make many podiatrists so proud. The crisscross straps kind of dip their toe into the gladiator trend, but still remain a pretty classic sandal that every girl should have in her closet.

Last year, I received a pair of Frye boots for Christmas. The quality the Frye Company produces is amazing. The Corina Campus wedge look to be made out of those same materials, and they are cute to boot! At $129, they are still a splurge for many, but these wedges will definitely last for more than one season. With the simple style of the shoes, I would wear them for years and still look classic and pulled together.

Even though my podiatrist would be pleased to see me in flats, sometimes you just want heels! I wasn't aware of the fact that Fergie, the Black Eyed Peas singer, had a shoe line until recently, but when I was browsing the sale at Piperlime, I found the Haiti sandal, and I was hooked. I love the straps and the buckles, and the chunky heel is a great alternative to the ubiquitous summer wedge. At $55, these shoes are hard to pass up!

Do you have a hard time resisting end of summer shoe sales? Which of these picks are your favorites?

Hey, Soldier

Every summer, without fail, fall clothes come in when it is approximately 115 degrees in sweltering Arizona. It's almost torturous to go to the mall in July and August, when I know that everything in stores will not see the outside of my closet until at least October. I always get sick of my summer clothes by August, and spend plenty of time lusting after items that I'll want in my closet when the thermostat finally dips. This year, a trend I fully plan on embracing is the Army jacket trend. Light, practical (with all those pockets, who needs a bag?) and fun, the new Army jacket just takes a cue from the original - this year's incarnation has a nipped waist, and comes at every price point. Here are three options:

First, from Urban Outfitters, there is the Vintage Cinched Waist Army Jacket. At $48, it is a great way to dip your toes into the trend. This particular jacket is from UO's Urban Renewal line, which boasts products made out of vintage deadstock materials. It is the perfect combination between new and vintage- fabric that is vintage, but that hasn't been worn before, so no funky smells or stains.

Next, in a little more streamlined option, there is the Ripstop Field Jacket from J. Crew, for $98. This is definitely a more streamlined version of the classic and would look equally great thrown over a floral dress or paired with skinny jeans, boots, and a tshirt. I particularly love the brass detailing on the pockets on this version.

If you are sure you are an Army-jacket loving girl, and have some cash to spare, I would spring for the Marc by Marc Jacobs version from Barneys New York, coming in at $298. Streamlined and sophisticated, this would become a wardrobe staple for Spring and Fall, and a great layering piece for winter. The cinched waist would be flattering for any girl- it is like having a belt without the hassle!

Will you get behind the Army jacket trend?

Loving Right Now: ModCloth

A year or so ago, I discovered ModCloth, an online store. I've spent hours browsing their site- they always have plenty of cute, unique, vintage-inspired dresses (and blouses, skirts, and home accessories) that look to be great quality, at very reasonable prices-most of the things on the site are under $100. The best part about ModCloth? They don't stock thousands of the same items- I've been on the site, gone back the next day to order things, and they are out of stock. Now, this is always a bummer, but the great thing about a small inventory is when I order something, I know I will be the only person at a party with that outfit! Here are three of my favorite pieces on the site right now to wear now, and into fall, too.

First, the Light Speed Style dress. I love the button detailing, and the tiny little polka dots, too. In the dog days of summer, I would wear this with wooden wedges, and a belt. In the fall, I'd wear it with my favorite Frye riding boots, an army jacket, and tights. Either way, it would make a great addition to my wardrobe, and for $48, it is a steal, to boot.

Next, the Metamorphosis dress, which is $55. I'm digging the draping on this pick- it makes a simple jersey dress so much more interesting, while still keeping it lightweight for summer. I would wear flat black gladiator sandals and an interesting cuff bracelet in summertime. When the weather cools down, I'd pair this dress with black opaque tights, and black over-the-knee leather boots.

Finally, the Zag You're It dress, coming in right at $50. I like how this dress looks like it is a separate skirt and top, but since it is actually one piece, I wouldn't have to worry about keeping my shirt tucked in! During sweltering summer, I would pair this with simple gold flat sandals and possibly red lipstick. This winter, I'd slip on tights underneath, black ballet flats on my feet, and my favorite leather jacket over to keep me plenty warm in the mild Arizona winter.

Clubmaster Cool

When I find an accessory I love, I wear it for years. I've been sporting Ray-Ban's New Wayfarer style daily for nearly two years, and I don't think that'll be changing any time soon (I like to think they are a classic for a reason). However, Ray-Ban's latest offering, the Clubmaster II, may be the pair to inspire a change in my eye wear. Popular during the 1980s, these were re-released again recently, and they are similar to my beloved Wayfarers, but with a slight twist that is so funky and fresh.

Back in Black

My friends often tease me about my penchant for black clothing, but I always go back to my black dresses time after time. I always feel pulled together in black, and most of my closet is black, white and grey. I've recently started breaking what many would call a cardinal style sin- mixing in brown and black. Today, for work, I wore my favorite American Apparel dress, brown studded Gap belt, brown crocodile embossed T-strap shoes, and my sunglass standby, my Ray Ban wayfarers.

During the hot Summer months, I always seem to pile on more jewelry than in the Winter. I've found that it is a great way to add some interest to an outfit without adding any additional layers. Today I wore a necklace and sapphire earrings that are family heirlooms, a vintage gold bangle, and my favorite Made Her Think ring.

Cooking 101

Time for a confession. Prior to last night, I had never really cooked anything that required more than a couple ingredients and didn't include chocolate. I definitely had never cooked meat of any kind. Well, I decided it was time to give cooking a go, and made dinner for my boyfriend and me. I'm a huge fan of Carol Han's blog Milk and Mode, and she recently posted a recipe for an "easy" meal for two. Brett requested chicken Parmesan, so I didn't put shrimp in the pasta, and used this recipe for the chicken. I added some asparagus baked with olive oil and roughly ground sea salt, and we ate! I must say, cooking wasn't quite as scary as I thought, and I must say, the results were pretty delicious!

Summer Beauty Essentials

Summer. The word conjures up visions of backyard barbecues, swimming pools, and ice cream. If you live in a place like Scottsdale, Arizona, the word also brings up thoughts of makeup meltdowns, sunburns, and blisters. Over the years, every Scottsdale girl hones her tricks for surviving summer while still looking mildly pulled together. Below are a few of my favorite products to make it through even the most sweltering of the 115-degree days.

Waterproof eyeliner should be an essential in any makeup-loving girl's cosmetic bag. I have to admit, I'm a bit of a product junkie, and after testing countless eye liners, I have found my all-time favorite, Makeup Forever's Aqua Eyes in 2L (a pearl brown). This eyeliner is easy to apply and remove, yet, it stays on nearly flawlessly through hot days and even swimming!

Urban Decay's Oil De-slick in a Tube is a newer addition to both my bag and makeup counters. It is a lightweight gel that you can apply under or on top of makeup that completely gets rid of any "shine", and primes your face to look fresh all day! I used this product for the first time the week of my best friend's outdoor June wedding, and I was shocked with how matte I looked, even late into the night! Application tip- put sunscreen on, wait five minutes, then rub the De-Slick in VERY well, and then wait 5 more minutes to apply foundation or powder.

I discovered Band-Aid Friction Block last summer while I was living and interning in New York City. I have a bit of a penchant for blistering shoes, and applying Friction Block a couple times a day blocked blisters from forming on my feet even while wearing the strappiest of summer sandals.

During about nine months of the year, I painstakingly blow out my wavy hair almost daily. However, when the temperatures heat up, and my hair dries within ten minutes of being outside, I let my natural waves dry themselves. A fellow curly-headed friend reccommended Redken 07 Ringlet Perfector. I put a little of this formula through my hair, raking it through with my fingers. After a little air drying, I'm left to go on about my day with frizz-free waves.

What are your summer beauty essentials?

Cross my heart.

I'm not a "keys-and-ID and I'm good to go" girl. When I leave the house, I like to have my wallet, keys, a bottle of water, maybe a snack, a magazine or book, at least my digital camera, and preferably my Holga, too. As you can imagine, this makes a larger handbag a necessity. I'm definitely a fan of cross body bags because they are easier on my back, and they leave my hands free for shopping, taking photos, or text messaging. Here are three larger styles that I'm currently loving.

The Mulberry Alexa is a recent design collaboration between British It Girl and former MTV VJ, Alexa Chung and the classic English handbag company, Mulberry. This bag brings classic Mulberry shapes, like the Bayswater bag, and trademark quality together with a more recent, up-to-date look that results in a younger take on a bag that was a classic for a reason. Classic comes with a price, however, and the Alexa comes in around $1500, depending on the material it is made in.

The next bag, the Cambridge Satchel Company Briefcase Bag sold at Urban Outfitters, comes in at a far more affordable $150. To me, the bag looks like something my American Girl doll would have carried, but in a real person size. I'm a sucker for a red handbag, and this hits the perfect mark between preppy must-have and hipster-endorsed uniform staple. It looks like it would be the perfect size to hold all of my essentials, and look good while doing so.

Finally, the most must-have of the mix: the Proenza Schouler PS1 Bag, sold at Barney's New York. Chances are, at nearly $2,000, this bag will never come home with me, but I will sheepishly admit to "visiting" this gorgeous bag at Barney's more than once. The leather that it is crafted from is so soft, and the shape is a classic school bag, but so much cooler. The PS1 has been on the arm or wish list of every fashion It girl since it first came out. I would choose it in basic black, and carry it every day.

Are you a fan of the cross body bag? Which of these three are your favorite?

Let there be...lamp?

I've recently begun the search for a new bedside table lamp. My primary requirements for the elusive table lamp are that it is a modern style, goes with my black-white-tan-small pop of red bedroom, and is affordable (Definitely under $100, preferably under $50). Here are my top five picks so far.

First up, this beauty from CB2, Crate and Barrel's modern line (a personal favorite). Modern design? Check. Tan with a pop of red? Check. Price? $99, which, with tax and shipping, since there is no CB2 near me, the rose line lamp falls outside of my $100 max.

Next, we have another contender from CB2, the Paramount lamp. The Paramount lamp is a stylish, modern table lamp that is also well priced. I love the design, and, I must admit, the tap on/tap off feature would be nice when I'm trying to find some light in the middle of the night. Priced at around $50, the paramount lamp is a strong option.

It is generally hard to beat Ikea when it comes to affordably priced home items. This Tallvik lamp is a steal at $25, and since I have an Ikea nearby, there would be no additional shipping and handling. I like the minimal design, but I'm not sure if I'm crazy about the all-over chrome.

This Jonsbo lamp from Ikea looks like the Rose Line lamp from CB2, but at a much more affordable $50. I like the price, but I'm not sure I'm crazy about the shape of the bottom half, and I have to admit, I like the red cord on the Rose Line.

This final option is a little more...bold. I think that a lamp can be a great way to add interest to a room. At $60, this Art Deco lamp from Target is a lot of fun for a pretty small price. Ultimately, it may be a little more of a statement than I personally want next to my bed, but I can't deny that it would make a fun addition.