What I Wore: Blue Mountain

blue mountain brewery
blue mountain brewery
blue mountain brewery
blazer: c/o aritzia | jeans: joe's jeans | top: asos | sunglasses: ray-ban | boots: frye melissa button boots

One of Brett's friends from back home flew out last weekend to hang out with him for a whirlwind 24 hours, so we took him out to one of our favorite Charlottesville hangouts, Blue Mountain Brewery. The weather was gorgeous, so we took advantage and sat outside. It. Was. Glorious. Can't wait for winter to be over!

Gorgeous Luxury Scottsdale Home

luxury scottsdale home
luxury scottsdale home
luxury scottsdale home

luxury scottsdale home
luxury scottsdale home
luxury scottsdale home

When a friend of mine tweeted me the link to this home tour, I was floored. The home is in my hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona, and is just gorgeous. I love the modern style of the home, and the unique vintage/retro touches that create interest throughout. And that backyard. It looks like it's a resort, and since the weather in Scottsdale is pretty much perfect this time of year, the backyard would be perfect for a second living room of sorts- great for someone who loves to entertain! See the rest of the gorgeous home here.

The Best of the Best: Seche Vite Fast Dry Topcoat

fast drying topcoat for nails

I'm a big fan of the at-home mani, but prior to discovering Seche Vite's fast drying topcoat, I managed to screw up any polish I took the time to apply. With Seche Vite, that's never happened- it sets completely in around five minutes. In addition to drying super-fast, I adore it's super-glossy finish, and the fact that it prolongs the life of my mani, even with my constant typing. You can buy it here, or at your local beauty supply store. I promise, it'll change your manicure game for good.  

Oscars 2013: Best and Worst Dressed

Oscars 2013 Best Dressed- Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron is always stunning, but she looked like the picture of perfection at the 2013 Academy Awards. I'm loving her short new 'do- she has the perfect face for it- and her simple white peplum gown was fitted perfectly. It certainly wasn't the sparkliest dress tonight, but it stood out in the crowd. 

Oscars 2013 Best Dressed Runners Up
I love it when Jennifer Aniston steps away from her usual basic black. The red color she selected was perfect for her skin tone, and I adored the shape of the dress, and it perfectly flattered her body.

Naomi Watts' gown was the perfect example of how dresses that are completely made out of sequins don't have to look like they're made for a fairy princess. The graphite color of the sequins, paired with the unique cut of the top, made this look perfectly fashion-forward.

Jennifer Lawrence certainly picked the perfect dress to accept her Best Actress Academy Award in. The petal pink was perfection without being prissy, and even looked amazing when she tripped and fell on her way up to accept her award! I loved the unique addition of the backwards necklace that trailed down her back- it was a fresh and unexpected addition that really made the look stand out. (And her skin and hair color were absolutely flawless, too!)

Jessica Chastain has had a few unfortunate gown choices this awards season, but she made up for it with this masterpiece- the copper hue is a surprising choice for a redhead, but really seemed to play up her complexion perfectly. To me, the fit of this dress is what really made it stand out- it's a tough cut to get right, but the level of precision that was used when the dress was tailored is truly remarkable.

Jennifer Hudson performed during the Oscars in a completely different gown, but I adore the one she walked the carpet in. In a sea of seemingly "safe" gowns, I love that she mixed things up and went for something bold. Her hair and makeup were flawless, and the cut of the gown showed off her insane curves perfectly.

Sally Fields proved that being a  woman "of a certain age" does not mean style needs to be sacrificed. Sally's had years of red carpet experience, and this dress was perfectly sophisticated while also being appropriately sexy. I especially love the sleeves- so flattering and functional, but truly beautiful, as well.

 Oscars 2013 Worst Dressed
 Oscars 2013 Worst Dressed
 Oscars 2013 Worst Dressed
And on to the worst dressed...

I love Melissa McCarthy- she's absolutely hysterical, and she usually makes great fashion choices, perfectly suited for her more curvy frame, with last year's Oscar dress being notably beautiful, in particular. Unfortunately, tonight, she went with a dress that drowned her curves, rather than accentuating them, and I'm not crazy about the gray color, either. Her hair was having some major issues too- I really hated the strangely teased and frizzy thing she had going on.

Salma Hayek is stunning, obviously, but she's also married to Francois-Henri Pinault, the CEO of  PPR, which is the company that owns most of the world's major fashion houses, like Gucci, YSL, and many more. Needless to say, the woman has pretty much the best selection of dresses at her disposal, with an enviable set of curves, to boot. I'm not crazy about the dress she chose- I feel like the neck is strangling her, and I'm never a fan of velvet. To top it all off, she chose a mini tiara, and unless you're royalty, leave the tiara at home, please.

Olivia Munn's dress reminds me a little of Jessica Chastain's dress from last year's Oscars. To me, it heads way too far into Renaissance Fair land, the skirt is not flattering, and the bad set of wrinkles don't help, either.

Reese Witherspoon's body looks amazing, especially considering she had a baby a few short months ago. However, I don't think her dress flatters her, and I'm not a fan of the bow situation at the top of the bodice, either. That being said, her beauty look was flawless- I love her glossy Veronica Lake waves and her skin and makeup looks perfect.

Kristen Stewart...where do I start? Kristen, it's the Oscars. You're lucky to be there, show a little respect and run a brush through your hair before you leave the house, and wipe off last night's makeup, while you're at it. While I don't hate her dress, I don't love it, either, but the hair/makeup situation sends this straight to my worst-dressed list.

I REALLY wanted to like what Anne Hathaway was wearing tonight, especially since she won Best Supporting Actress. You know the photos of her from tonight's ceremony will follow her around for the rest of her career, and this was just not her best look. I can appreciate that she was trying to go for a classic Audrey Hepburn look, and while she hit the hair and makeup right on the head, the dress looks overly stiff, the bodice is poorly fitted, with some unfortunately placed darts, the necklace doesn't work with the neckline of the dress, and finally, the back of the dress looks like it belongs on a completely different dress. (You can see the back of the dress here.) Sorry Anne, I just think you could have done so much better.

All photos via NYMag.com

Who was your best and worst dressed from the 2013 Academy Awards? Were you surprised by who won and lost? Dish in the comments.

Best of the Web

Hope you've had a lovely weekend! I'm planning on watching the Oscars with a girlfriend tonight, and I'm SO excited to see what everyone wears and who wins! How was your weekend? 

A few things I found around the web this week:
I adore this tour of interiors stylist Liz Bachman's home. 

Bradley's bridal shower was stunning- love all of those pink peonies.

I found Leandra's reaction to this piece by Susie Menkes to be so thoughtful and well-written- check it out if you haven't yet! 

Camille's daughter had the cutest half-birthday party ever, and that cake looks divine. 

Totally off-topic, but I found this piece in the New York Times about the science behind junk food to be fascinatingly horrifying- hard to think of food in the same way once you read it.

Only a few hours left, but get 35% off at Gap today online!

I've been debating pulling the trigger on these gorgeous heels (in the camel multi pony hair) since September...thoughts? 

and in case you missed it, this week's posts here on best of BKLYN

Pin and a Spin

lauren santo domingo

This week's Pin and a Spin might be one of my favorite looks, featuring the absolutely gorgeous Lauren Santo Domingo, who is a contributing editor to Vogue, and the co-founder of e-commerce site, Moda Operandi. I love the pink and red color combo, and since it's the dead of winter, I included my favorite gradual self tanner in the mix, too, since I know my skin is pretty much translucent at this point of the year. To see more Pin and a Spin posts, click here.

The Home T

virginia "the home t" (gifted) | skirt: forever 21 | tights: express | pumps: cole haan | necklace: vintage

When my blogger friend Ryan from Fashables told me about the t-shirt line, called The Home T, he was developing, I loved his idea: shirts with the outline of the wearer's home state, with the word "home" over the state. Ryan offered to send me one of the shirts, and I love the Virginia shirt he sent- it's one of the softest t's I've ever worn (it's printed on my all time favorite t-shirt, the American Apparel 50/50 shirt) and I love the overall design of the shirt. Even better? A portion of the proceeds from each shirt is donated to multiple sclerosis research. 

It's funny, when Ryan asked which state design I wanted for my shirt, I had to think about it for a hot second. I lived in Arizona for the first 18 years of my life, but I've moved around quite a bit since then, calling California (three times!), Texas, Arizona (again!), NYC (for a brief but fantastic summer) and now Virginia "home" at one point in the last 7 years. While my roots will always be in Arizona, I'm embracing the idea that "home is where the heart is" and really focusing on being present and making my home be wherever Brett and I happen to be. And even if/when Virginia is no longer my current "home" I'll proudly rep my VA pride with my Home T

My Home Office

My little home office area (I say area because it's in our living room) just got a major facelift, and I wanted to share the pretty-fied results with you! I previously had a massive collage above my desk, but when Minted.com gave me the chance to pick out a couple of their art prints, I knew exactly where I wanted them to go! I selected the black and white And Per Se print (since I'm borderline obsessed with ampersands) and the Chevy Chevron print to go along with my existing Jessica Durrant illustration that Brett gave me, and I love how well the three work together! I'm enjoying sitting at my desk now, instead of dreading it, and I love the little facelift the art gave our living room, too. I was really impressed with Minted's paper and printing quality- so much nicer than most flimsy prints, and I love how so many of Minted's art prints come in different color ways, too.

The Best of the Best: Joe's Jeans "Cigarette"

joe's jeans cigarette jeans
While finding the right pair of jeans is a highly personalized quest (and yes, I think finding the perfect pair can definitely be considered a quest, plus I just like the word!), I wanted to share my favorite pair with you today. I've had two pairs of these Joe's Jeans in their "Cigarette" cut, and I absolutely adore them. They're skinny without being too skinny (they don't cut off circulation in my calves) and are cut a little higher in the waist, which is perfect. And, lucky for you, right now, they're on sale for $96 on Macy's website, which is a small price to pay in the designer denim world. 

Check out more of my favorite things here

Pin and a Spin

j.crew pink tippi sweater | bcbg gold sequin skirt (on sale for 70% off!) | vince "celeste" pumps (also love these, for just $35!) | j.crew leopard clutch (budget friendly versions here, here, and here)

I know Valentine's Day was yesterday, but I think this would be the perfect date outfit if you're planning on celebrating this weekend! I love the mix going on here, it's all of my favorite things (pink, red, leopard, sequins) all wrapped up to create a fabulous look! The original photo was from the blog Here & Now, and you can follow all of my pins here. To see more Pin and a Spin posts, click here

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day is filled with love! Thank you for reading here- I so appreciate you all. I'll be back later today with a regular post! 

New Visit Here, Pack This on Seventeenth & Irving

In case you didn't know, I contribute over at Seventeenth & Irving once a month, and my newest post is now up! This month, we're visiting NYC- check out the post for my packing essentials for NYC and my list of favorite things to do in New York! 

Wardrobe Essential: The Fancy Flat

fancy flat shoes

It might sound strange that I'm suggesting that a "fancy" flat is a wardrobe essential, but hear me out for a minute. While I'm a big proponent of the typical black flats, I love a more exciting version for day-to-day, too. When I'm in a hurry and throwing on a black top and jeans, a fancy flat elevates the whole look, and makes you look more polished and put together. Any of these flats would add interest without  the pain of wearing heels. Plus, a fancy flat doesn't have to be relegated to running errands- almost all of these (brogues excluded) would be a great substitute for wearing heels when paired with a dress  or skirt. When Brantano asked me to share a few of my favorite things from their online store, I was immediately drawn to their flats section- and as a bonus, these are all super affordable, too! Head on over to their site to see more. 

What I Wore: Gray Skies, Pink Dress

bright pink dress, kate spade scarf
dress: h+m (last seen here) | jacket: sanctuary clothing (similar) | tights: express | tote: vintage, from my mom | scarf: kate spade (gift from my mil) shoes: sam edelman c/o piperlime (on major sale now!) 

I'm finally feeling better again, so Brett and I walked down to our favorite little coffee shop to get out of the house. It's been kind of gray outside the past few days, so I decided to brighten things up a little bit and wear my favorite bright pink dress from last summer. 

The Best of the Best: Le Pen Pens

I'm back with another installment of my favorite things, and this week's item is something I use every day. I'm a big believe in the idea that you should enjoy the little things in life, and these pens brighten my day every time I use one. They come in a rainbow of colors, and I've amassed quite the rainbow of colors (thanks mom!). Buy individual colors at Utrecht or an art supply store near you, or buy your favorite color in bulk in Mackenzie's shop, Design Darling.

Classic Handbags Every Woman Should Own

classic handbags every woman should own

everyday: save | splurge || clutch: save | splurge || crossbody: save | splurge || tote: save | splurge

I love a great bag, as many girls do. I carry my life around in my purse every single day, and since I never leave home without one, it has to be both pretty and functional. And let's be real: one bag doesn't do everything you need it to, so I rounded up my essentials for what every girl should own. The everyday bag, the clutch for evening and going out, the crossbody bag for traveling and shopping hands-free, and the tote for lugging your laptop and more. I tried to keep all of the bags pretty classic, but don't be afraid to throw in a fun color or texture- life is too short to only carry boring bags

Glossbox Review: The Man Repeller Edition

I was extra-excited when I opened this month's Glossybox that was sent to me for review, because it was The Man Repeller edition of Glossybox! Leandra Medine, blogger behind the hysterically funny fashion site, The Man Repeller, was the guest curator behind this month's box. Leandra has long been one of my favorite bloggers, because she's irreverent and a comedic genius, while having a keen eye for fashion trends and wonderfully thoughtful writing- something that seems to be missing from a lot of fashion blogs.

This was the fourth Glossybox I've had a chance to review, and I think it just may have been my favorite one yet- Leandra really did a great job! Here's what was inside- keep on scrolling for more detailed product information from Glossybox and my personal thoughts on each item.

Estée Lauder | Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara
Three different high-volume fibers create audacious, false-lash effects. Lustrous color leaves eyes brighter, wider, more seductive than ever. Builds bigger, bolder, more extreme lashes. 
My thoughts: I really, really liked this mascara. It made my  lashes look extra long and very individually separated. Even thought it's called a "volume" mascara, I think it really lengthens, too. My only minor drawback on this one- the giant brush was a little hard to maneuver, but I think that might not be an issue with a full-size wand with a longer handle.
Fresh | Umbrian Clay Mattifying Serum
Umbrian Clay, Fresh’s proprietary ingredient, has a uniquely high-mineral content that works to neutralize acidity, purifying and clarifying the complexion. This treatment formula tones and hydrates while controlling shine and minimizing the appearance of pores.
My thoughts: I LOVED this stuff. I just applied some, and it really "perfected" my skin- I didn't even mess with wearing foundation. (Disclaimer: I wasn't getting all dressed up or anything.) My skin really looked smooth, pores looked smaller, and there was no shine. This would be the perfect product to apply before a casual day of running errands- you'd look pulled together, but not overly makeup-y. 

Le Métier de Beauté | Replenishing Daily Solution

This highly emollient cream is designed to condition and hydrate while it nourishes and detoxifies—the formula normalizes the skin's moisture content to provide unparalleled suppleness. Broad-spectrum SPF 30 protects the skin damaging UVA/UVB rays.
My thoughts: This product is super-luxe. I've heard of the brand before, but always steered clear because of the high price tag, so I was surprised (and pleased!) to see the little packet of the solution in my box. I must say, I was very impressed- it calmed down my super dry winter skin, and dare I say, left me with a glow! Unfortunately, I won't be re-purchasing this one due to the high price tag, but I'll definitely be savoring every last drop in the sample! 

Narcisio Rodriguez | For Her Eau de Toilette Spray
A fragrant harmony of music, intimately refined with a floral facet developing gently and slowly, rounding out into the feminine warm tones of sun-kissed skin, dusted in soft, velvet-like sensuality.
My thoughts: This actually wasn't a new-to-me product, but I was still super excited to see it in my box.   For Her is one of my very favorite scents- I know a girl that wore it all the time, and I liked it so much that I asked her what she was wearing that smelled so great!  

OPI | Can't Let Go Liquid Sand Nail Lacquer

A unique matte purple shade with subtle accents of reflective shimmer. This long wearing liquid sand lacquer dries to a matte finish which means no top coat is necessary! Apply base coat and two coats of color for full opacity.
My thoughts: I had spotted this unique polish in a magazine recently, so I was very curious to try it when I opened up my Glossybox. It's a really fun, purple, sparkly color, and it's supposed to dry with a sand-like finish, and you're not technically supposed to put a top coat on, to let the texture remain matte.   I'm weird about textures, and I wasn't crazy about how the polish "felt" up against my other fingers, so I put a coat of Seche Vite on top and I was totally good to go. With the top coat on, you can still see the texture without feeling it, and I love the way it looks- completely different from any other polish in my arsenal, and that's saying a lot! 

Sebastian Professional | Potion 9
The ultimate versatile styling cream infused with nine botanical extracts to help restore lost moisture and rejuvenate the healthy look of your hair. Perfect for styling your wet or dry hair into multiple looks with flexible hold.
My thoughts: It's been awhile since I've tried a hair product that I like just as much or more than the Pureology products I use day to day, but Potion 9 changed that. I'll admit I was a little surprised when I saw the product's shockingly orange hue, but when incorporated into my daily blowout routine, it resulted in soft, glossy hair with volume. I'll definitely consider re-buying this product when my sample runs out.

tarte | glamazon pure performance 12-hour lipstick

Achieve vivid long-lasting color with a superb blend of emollient-rich butters (mango, avocado and shea) encapsulated in Tarte‘s 12-hour power™ formula. Helps to minimize the appearance of fine lines leaving your lips with a perfect, plumped-up appearance.
My thoughts: I can't say enough great things about this lipstick. I loved the bright orange-y red hue, which is perfect for spring. The texture of this was great- it looked matte, but went on smoothly, like a lipstick that would be more shiny, and it was super-moisturizing, which is hard to find in a matte lipstick. The packaging is unlike any I've ever seen on a lipstick- seriously so fun! I liked this enough that I may order it in another color, too! 

For more on Glossybox, read my past reviews, or head on over to their site to check out other boxes and order your own! 

Madewell Spring Dresses: The Wardrobe Dream Team

madewell spring dresses

I generally consider myself a pretty equal-opportunity shopper. If you look in my closet, you'll find a good mix of labels, from brands like H+M, Gap, Zara, with a smattering of more high-end pieces mixed in. I don't usually LOVE every single item from a store at any given moment, and I'm totally okay with that- the hunt is part of the thrill. 

All of that changed when I saw Madewell's new spring dresses. I literally want every single one, and I think they'd be perfect for the brunches, showers, and daytime weddings that seem to be synonymous with spring. And if you work in a more "creative" field, you could even make some of them work for the office! I'm thinking I may have to save my pennies and splurge on one! 

Which ones are your favorite? (If I had to pick, the top two would be my first choices, followed by the second row on the left.) What would make up your spring wardrobe dream team

Best of the Web

valentine's day image
A few things I found and loved around the web this week....

Lisa is like a blogging Yoda (except she's really pretty and not green at all. and doesn't talk in weird sentences. maybe this wasn't the best comparison idea. basically, I mean that she's incredibly wise about design and blogging stuff.) and she finished her huge series on everything she learned at Alt Summit. If you're a blogger, it's definitely a must-read.

Creature Comforts blog posted these great kisses and word photoshop brushes a couple weeks back, but they'd be perfect for whipping up some last minute Valentine's cards. (I used them to make the image in this post!)

Jen from Made by Girl posted a special Valentine's Day-themed magazine, Cartas de Amor, full of love letters to+from your favorite bloggers.

I love Emily Henderson's blog, which just got a new facelift, and I thought this post on incorporating bright colors into an otherwise neutral space was so helpful!

T Magazine's profile on Lee Radziwill was absolutely fascinating.

Shopbop added even more goodness to their sale.

Prabal Gurung for Target is online- hurry fast before they sell out!

Asos (one of my favorite online shops for cute clothes that don't break the bank) is having a sale of up to 70% off! Go now, thank me later. This leopard coat is down to only $36!

And Gap has a special 25% off promotion going until tomorrow!

and in case you missed it around here, I posted...

A Valentine's day gift guide for her and one for him.

What I wore to watch the Superbowl

And pretty free printable Valentine's Day cards, which were a hit with my girl friends that received them!

Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Men Under $100

men's valentine's day gift ideas

Valentine's Day gifts for guys are always a little tricky- even though Valentine's day is kind of a "girly" holiday (red and pink hearts!) I always try to keep in mind that the gifts for the guys in our lives can still be manly men gifts! If your guy is looking to upgrade his style a bit, the book A Gentleman Gets Dressed Up is a great guide for gently guiding guys in the right sartorial direction. I'm loving this laptop bag for hauling his computer and papers back and forth to the office each day, and the jack-shaped paperweight is a fun desktop piece. This tie clip will make him look extra polished, and I love this iPhone cover's unexpected wood-grain look. I shared my love of Warby Parker a couple weeks back, and I love their shades for guys, too! For less sunny days, this umbrella is a tasteful splurge that he'd probably never buy himself. If likes his beverages, the Jack Spade thermos is a great upgrade to a boring travel mug, and for his adult beverages, this flask is a major step up from his college one, while the whiskey rocks will chill his drink without watering it down. 

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Her Under $100

valentine's day gift ideas for girls under $100

Valentine's Day is just eight days away, and I thought I'd help you by sharing a few of my favorite  Valentine's Day gift ideas for girls, all under $100! Whether your girlfriend/friend/wife is a tech addict (the headphones or iPad case would be perfect), a fashion lover (she'll adore those gap flats and clutch), or if she likes shiny things (and what girl doesn't!?) there should be something on this list for her. 

Valentine's Day Card (Free Printable!)

free valentine's day card printable

I know Valentine's Day is usually all about romantic relationships, but I'm lucky enough to have friends in my life that I also love! This year I decided to send a few of my girlfriends little Valentine's Day cards, and if you'd like to do the same, I've uploaded the files so you can have a free printable version of my cards! I designed them and uploaded them to Zazzle, since my home printer can be a bit finicky, but if you'd like to print yours at home, I've saved them in two versions- one as a single 5"x7" card, and one that will print two cards on a typical 8.5"x11" piece of paper/cardstock. I dressed mine up with some glitter, (and added a disclaimer on the envelopes, to hopefully avoid glittering everything in my friends' homes!) washi tape, and LOVE stamps designed by Jessica Hische (thanks to Katelyn, who gave me a heads up on these!). 

What I Wore: Super Bowl Sunday

super bowl 2013

BCBGeneration top (similar) | joe's jeans "cigarette" jeans | c/o DMSX shoes | ban.do heart pin 

Wow! It's been a while since I've posted an outfit photo. My back pain has been really bad the past few weeks, which translates into wearing a lot of yoga pants and running shoes- not exactly blog-worthy attire. We had a few friends over to watch the game yesterday, so I put "people clothes" on, which always makes me feel better mentally. Who would have thought that pants with buttons can lift a girl's spirits a bit? Now, if only those pants could heal my back pain!