Wednesday, December 23, 2009

merry christmas and happy new year!!

photo credit: austin skyline with the zilker park moontower tree by jay janner/austin american-statesman

i can't express to you how thankful i am to each and every one of you. when i first started this blogging endeavor back in june i thought it'd be a fun little thing that only my mom would read and that i'd give up after a few weeks. who woulda thought that six months later i'm still at it and still loving it - and most importantly, loving that you love it.

thanks for staying with me through our move to austin and through my whining as i've been on shopping lockdown during my job search. it's been hard to be away from all of my friends and family and start a new life here in austin...and as little as it may seem, blogging every day has given me an outlet and has helped me get through the hard days just a little bit easier.

i sincerely wish you all a very very very merry christmas. i'll be taking some time off from blogging while i spend time with my family in the northeast - and i hope you'll be taking some time off from blog stalking to spend time with yours, too.

merry christmas and happy new year. i'll be back in 2010 with fresh ideas and a renewed vigor.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo (to infinity)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

target's smith and hawken partnership

target is like my winter wonderland. so many things to see and try and buy. one of my new favorites is the smith & hawken aisle. my latest purchase was an amaryllis kit - a white pot, one red amaryllis bulb and soil - on sale for a mere $8. after only three weeks of growing, the amaryllis is huge and is downright gorgeous. i love looking at it on the windowsill every day and i can't wait to get another one once this one bites the dust. you can barely get a fresh flower bouquet for $8 and those only last a few days. a great fresh flower investment - or a great hostess/housewarming gift. i don't see them available on the target website (for you city dwellers) but i know west elm and restoration hardware usually stock bulb kits around the holidays too.

here are a few more of target's smith & hawken gems:

below: doormat, $19.99 (we have the green version at our front door)

below: 33" copper fire bowl, $119.99

Monday, December 21, 2009

let it snow, let it snow, let it long as i have my hunter boots nearby

this post is dedicated to all my friends and fam snowed in in the northeast...23"...good god.

below: navy

below: merlot

below: red

my old coworker martha first inspired me to get these boots about two years ago and i have to say they are THE BEST purchase EVER. honestly, it pained me to shell out the lootcakes to get them -- but i wear them so much i think it's the best $115 i've ever spent. i wear them with jeans, dresses/skirts and tights and sometimes even with shorts. they were perfect in NYC where winter meant permanent slushy mud puddles at every corner, and now they're perfect for walking our dog on the hike and bike trails around the lake.

it's rare to find the originals on sale unless there's a site- or store-wide coupon so my recommendation is to either 1) bite the bullet and just do it or 2) be really diligent about watching saks, bloomies, piperlime, etc. for discount codes. sometimes gilt has them on sale, too. my only caveat is there's a high chance they'll be sold out of your size/color/style during a sale.

ps. i recommend ordering way smaller than you think, especially if you have narrow feet like me. i wear a 7.5 or 8 normally and my hunters are a size 6. hunter's official reco is to order a size down.

pps. the other option is to get the kids version. they're a little bit lower on the calf and of course you have to have small feet. i've never tried them on so can't give fit guidance there...but they're only $60 rather than $115 so might be worth a shot.

pps. i also wish i had the fleece insert socks, now available for pre-order at saks for $30. and even with thick socks the rubber definitely causes a little (ahem a lot of) foot sweat...

Friday, December 18, 2009

ankle straps...not quite shoe jewelry...but almost

i've made fun of an old coworker jeff quite a bit (to his face) for his closet full of shoes with jewelry (e.g. gucci loafers with the metal embellishment on the front with no purpose). don't get me wrong, i love shoe jewelry for women but for men i'm a little sensitive about it.

that said and somewhat unrelated, i'm really into ankle straps on flats these days. shoe jewelry adds a nice flair but i think the addition of the ankle strap is also a great touch to make them a teensy bit sassier. oh, and i'm a little crazy about showing as much toe cleavage as possible. might be tied to my deep love for being barefoot. these are a few on my current wish list:

below: dknyc nell, on sale for $71 from $98. also in black.

below: gabrielle rocha neve, $79.95. grey suede pictured. also available in black, black patent, black suede, brown, leopard, navy leather, purple, red, red suede, teal leather and white leather.

below: gabrielle rocha myls, $59. also available in black.

below: these are my ULTIMATES and have been on my wish list since the beginning of this past summer. maraisusa prince wedge, $72. available in black, tomato, cobalt and eggplant. oh and the designers are super cute and live in brooklyn. read about them here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

new laptop sleeve/file folder = merry christmas to me

so yesterday i was out christmas shopping and came across a really nice looking leather portfolio/computer sleeve at the limited. and so i decided to get a little christmas present for myself. let me tell you, this little guy is GREAT. i picked up the tan version on sale for $14. 70 from $24.50. it's really soft and chic and is sleek enough to be used as a file folder for client meetings or taking work home. it will make me look like the star account manager that i truly am...once i'm back in an office.


christmas miracles do happen, right?

side note: the photo above from the limited website sucks. again, what is with these stores and their terrible product photography?! it looks like it's from the elementary school catalog of things you'd sell door-to-door to raise money for the museum field trip. ok, done. here are some photos i took with my point-and-shoot.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

keeping warm with sequin earmuffs

from what i hear, it's freakin' freezing back home in ny. i haven't worn earmuffs in years but i'd make an exception for these you dazzle me sequin earmuffs by kate spade. rather than deal with hat head, keep your ears nice and toasty under some fashionable and girly black sequins. they go for $95 a pop but you can enjoy free ground shipping for a limited time. and don't forget you also earn 15% off your first purchase after joining their mailing list (click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

shopping in the old west...i mean...the gap

so i'm totally into some of what the gap is doing these days. they definitely go through ups and downs and i'd say right now they have a few standout items that i'd spring for. here they are, in no particular order. consider them officially on my christmas list.

ps. in my experience, web inventory doesn't match store inventory. if something is sold out online give your local store a call - they may have it.

pps. card members get an extra 10% off on tuesdays.

ppps. a few coupon codes i found on the internets: "gap20" saves you $20 on $100 or more; "cheer" for 15% off sale; "freecheer" for free shipping over $50. please comment if you have a better one or if any of these work for you.

below: navajo cardigan, on sale for $49.99

below: ruffle plaid shirt, $49.50. totally digging the ruffle details on the sleeves.

below: wool blend duffle bag, on sale for $44.99. perfectly sized for all the essentials to take on a night away from home.

Monday, December 14, 2009

crossbody bag with attitude

with all of the girly trends running rampant these days, i really like the idea of giving an outfit a tiny little bit of edge. if anyone read this month's lucky mag, page 58 featured a bunch of really great chain strap bags - my favorite of which was this pvc studded bag for $75 by sr squared by sondra roberts. i die for the red because it is perfect for adding a punch of color to my annoyingly boring black and brown winter wardrobe and i totally heart the tassle.

so sorry these photos SUCK and i couldn't get to a scanner to show you guys page 58 from this month's lucky...but i did find an image from an issue of people style watch.

oh and you'll be happy to hear i found the bag for $55 on another site rather than $75 on sondra roberts' site - thanks, that girl boutique!

Friday, December 11, 2009

little factory with big ideas

i'm not sure i've mentioned this before, but i work in the advertising industry (well...when i'm employed i do). i've always had an interest in beautiful things and i love being surrounded by talented designers and people with interesting and creative ideas. this company, the little factory, sells items inspired by things in their daily lives as graphic designers.

i like this serif tote bag (and i know my designer friend christine does too), $24

the numbered placemats are a fun way to assign seats to members of your family (birth favorites!), $26 for four

these shirts are pretty funny to us dorks with print production experience, $30

Thursday, December 10, 2009

custom family trees by my tree & me

this past monday was my grandmother's 80th birthday. i might be biased, but i firmly believe she's the best grandma in the whole entire world. i wouldn't be who i am today without having grandma in my life.

every year for christmas, we try to give her something special from all of us grandkids. this year we decided on a custom family tree from my tree & me: my tree & me designs and customizes modern genealogy charts. these non-traditional family trees illustrate the family connections that make us who we are.

we chose the proud as a peacock tree design and ours ended up being a totally custom order since we decided to show my grandma's descendants rather than her ancestors. it's typically $95 for the customizable version or $70 for the DIY version, but even as a completely custom job the price was extremely fair.

these are some of my other favorite designs. my tree & me is pretty busy for christmas so hurry up and place an order if you're looking for a great gift that truly is straight from the heart. they also have gift cards!

below: ripples in a pond, $55

below: minimalist octopus, $95 for the customizable version or $70 for the DIY version

below: slice of life, $95

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

johnny comes today!

today nick and i welcome our very first visitor to austin - my "little" brother johnny. being that we're still kinda tourists too i think we'll do lots of fun things, like:
can't wait to see you, bro.

i want i want i want i want i want...piet by fredrik hylten-cavallius

ok so i'm torturing you guys today. this item isn't actually for sale as far as what i've found - but the photos sure are purty (to quote my friend martha, who sent this to me).

"piet is a chimney free indoor stove with a brass reflector, that burns ethanol fuel instead of wood. this gives no smoke or soot and thereby eliminates the need of a chimney. a layer of rockwool fire insulation between the reflector and the outer shell keeps the outside cool. this means that you can always touch the ceramic body of piet without burning your hand and also means that piet can be placed closer to walls or other furniture."

this is totally up my alley and i beg you, fredrik hylten-cavallius, to figure out how to get it manufactured. i'm officially on your waiting list.

found via bad banana.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

saving your pants while commuting

not that i'm doing much commuting these days (still looking for that pesky job), but if i were, i'd totally be using these puppies. the concept is so obvious - you hem your pants for heels but you wear flats for the commute (also known as 80's secretary syndrome) so your pants drag on the ground. in come zakkerz, a temporary pants roll-up, keeping your pants clean and away from the destroying effects of dragging on the asphalt.

sets of zakkerz start at $27 and go up to $30. a useful stocking stuffer for the career woman in your life, me thinks.

Monday, December 7, 2009

a little touch of the beach in december

mid-december. rainy. snowy. cold. that said, who wouldn't want a little bit of the beach in their home right now? i saw this beach stone table runner in motif modern living and HAD to have it. sure, we don't have a dining room table just yet but do we have a sweet table runner keeping it's spot warm. the table runner goes for $49 and the placemats are $13.99. oh, they also come in slate and brown in addition to the white pictured here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

boskke sky planter - so pretty yet so confusing

this white sky planter by boskke is SO. COOL. designed by patrick morris, the concept is meant to conserve water and space while adding a modern touch to your living space. this short video shows how it works but i'm still confused as to how to water it and keep the dirt and plant from ending up in a pile on the floor. i might have to get one to house an orchid (i lurv me some orchids) just to test it out.

it's not available from the boskke website but i did find it at velocity art and design for $75 with free shipping.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

a beautiful, well-read bookshelf

**update** my friend lani got some from amazon starting at $13!

thank you to penguin and coralie bickford-smith. you heard my cries for help to make my hodgepodge bookshelf look like a gorgeous, well-read piece of art. ms. bickford-smith, from what i understand, is a senior cover designer at penguin and is responsible for creating this beautiful series of covers for some of the penguin classics. in the collection you'll fine authors like charlotte bronte, emily bronte, charles dickens and jane austin, to name a few. pricier than the plain old black-spined paperbacks? yes. worth it to have the prettiest bookshelf ever? yes. you can buy classics individually for $20 each or in 8-piece sets for $130. maybe a nice gift for your favorite english major?