Tuesday, December 18, 2012

That's a Wrap

Tis the season for stocking up on gifts. One of my favorite parts of that is wrapping all the gifts, so they look festive and beautiful under the tree. From over the top to sweet and simple, there are many options when it comes to wrapping.

This gorgeous guy is from one of my favorite Pasadena boutiques, Elisa B. Purple curly ribbon, greenery and twigs, and gold bells give this gift a glamourous look.

These simple but beautiful gifts were wrapped by Ashley over at Design Sponge. Using homemade colorful baker's twine and a branch from your Christmas tree transform a plain cardboard box to something really special.

This heartwarming option comes from Whipperberry. The most adorable pom poms and homey fabric add a touch of whimsy.

One things these all have in common is the use of natural materials. A beautiful wrap job can come from whatever you have in your garden - flowers are lovely, but so are leaves and even twigs. Used in the right way, they can perfect your gift presentation!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


I am just a little bit obsessed with this example of beautiful "shelfscaping" from this House Tour on Apartment Therapy. The adorable couple who lives in this tiny (300 sq. ft. tiny) studio have managed to find that middle ground between styled and stuffy. Floating shelves are a great way to fill wall space and easily display treasured items.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Working Girl

Working Girl
Clover Canyon pants, Alexander Wang top, Louboutin heels, Zara tote

The old adage "dress for success" seems a little outdated these days. In a world where some of the most successful CEOs in the world are donning a uniform of jeans and t-shirts to work, does what you wear to work really matter? I work in the fashion industry, but my workplace is EXTREMELY casual. It becomes easy to forget that cut-off denim and sneakers would be totally inappropriate in most work environments. And of course, what you wear won't make you successful. But I do think that looking professional makes you feel professional, and that self-confidence can make you walk a little taller, be a little more vocal, and indirectly perhaps, lead to success. 

The goods news is that work attire isn't the stuffy 3-piece suits of our parents and grandparents. Today, you can (and should!) still be stylish even when looking like your most professional self. Printed pants that are everywhere now are the perfect statement piece to accompany with your closet basics - a crisp white button down, basic but beautiful black pumps, and a structured tote large enough for your laptop and notebook.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

reading nook

Reading Nook

It is hard to think about fall while we're still battling almost triple digit temps, but boy am I ready.  The warm taupes and greys of fall are so cozy. I just want to cuddle up with a classic plaid blanket and a warm cup of coffee (ok, maybe I prefer hot chocolate). And don't get me started on slipper socks. Possibly one of my favorite accessories. So... fall, where are you? We're ready.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

spotlight: bird mafia

I admire a sleek and modern home as much as much as the next girl, but sometimes you just need something cozy. The line Bird Mafia is the coziest. Emily Brown is the amazing talent behind the cut paper art forms, applied to everything from pillows to scarves to framed art. Her designs are the perfect little touch to get your house fall-ready. I love the hot air balloon for a children's room too.

more designs here

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Falling Hard

Falling Hard

Summer's almost over! I can't believe how quickly the time has gone - didn't summer just start? And even though it will probably continue to be brutally hot for the next couple months in Southern California, everyone is over the summer sundress look and ready for sweater season. I love the edginess we're going to see this fall, with just enough studs and crosses to keep it interesting without having to commit to the goth look. Adding a bright sweater keeps things playful. And those ankle boots - don't get me started. I am dying for those boots.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

the kitchen blues

I didn't watch HGTV's series Design Star this season, but I caught an episode of the winner's show, Danielle Colding's Shop This Room and I was pleasantly surprised by her work. She incorporated beachy tones without making it over the top theme-y. It has inspired me to bring in some blue-gray tones to my kitchen too. I also love the pops of yellow that offers punchy color against the more neutral tones.

The fun thing about watching the episode was seeing the amazing little boutiques where she found the elements that transformed the room. I love the shelving with the blue Moroccan tile, and all the beautiful dishes and knick-knacks she found to fill the space.

These pictures and more here

Thursday, August 9, 2012

shaken or stirred: grapefruit basil fizz

I was never a big fan of grapefruit juice until a friend insisted I try her greyhound, a cocktail of grapefruit juice and vodka. Grapefruits seem to be one of those divisive love it or hate it fruits, but even if you are in the anti- crowd, this twist on the greyhound might change your mind. This drink was served at an amazing party at my best friend KC's house, and I was hooked. There is something really refreshing and light about a citrus-based cocktail, and the basil keeps it from getting too sweet. It's the perfect drink for a summer evening, or a sunny afternoon on the deck.

I served this drink at a get together we had on Wednesday night with friends, and it was a huge hit! And it is so easy to make, you don't have to spend all your time mixing complicated drinks.

Grapefruit Basil Fizz

2 oz good vodka
8 oz fresh grapefruit juice
A splash Sprite or 7-Up
A couple sprigs basil

Mix the vodka and grapefruit juice in a glass, and top off with a splash of sprite. Muddle some basil leaves either with your hands or with a mortar and pestle (if you are fancy like that), and add to the glass. You can serve over ice, or put in a shaker. Add a sprig of basil for garnish, and enjoy!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

weekend snaps

{big crowd at the Hammer Museum, my favorite new lipstick (revlon lip butter - it's awesome!), taking a walk around the library, and visiting with my favorite little pup}

Monday, July 30, 2012

black and white and striped all over

Everyone knows that a dose of bright color in a room can make a bold statement. But black and white can make an equally bold statement, especially in a graphic stripe.

Some examples for your home and wardrobe below:

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

Friday, July 27, 2012

weekend dreaming

Happy Friday! I would not mind spending the entire weekend with a good book and a cup of coffee in this bed. What is it about this picture that is so soothing?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

the splatter effect

I am intrigued but on the fence about the new Foley + Corinna arrivals over at Revolve Clothing. Their splatter collection includes handbags, dresses and pants that have a paint splatter effect. Too messy, or a fun way to add color?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

turn up the volume

After what seems like ages of the body-con skirt being king, I've been noticing full bodied skirts coming back on the scene. There is something so feminine and classic about them, and they work in a variety of lengths. The lovely ladies below show that it is a look that just as well on the red carpet as it does on the street.

{1, 2, 3, 4}

Some of my favorite examples are below (that neon Tibi skirt is unreal).

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

Friday, July 20, 2012

so cal icon: swimming pools

The LA Times printed these great pictures that are up at the Palm Springs Art Museum (who knew Palm Springs had an art museum!). They evoke that breezy but glamorous spirit that is so very Palm Springs - starting off with the most iconic glamor girl, Marilyn Monroe. They definitely put me in the mood for the weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

old meets new

If you ask anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, updated appliances are a must for efficient cooking (stainless steel preferred!). But there is something so charming about balancing all that newness with a beautiful antique. The kitchen isn't generally a place with a lot of room for decorative furniture, so the best way to do this is to convert an antique into a functional piece of furniture. The kitchens below have done this successfully with the kitchen island.



Adding a stainless steel or granite top to one of these tables would make a beautiful island.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

heat wave

One of my boyfriend's dearest friends celebrated his 30th birthday in Palm Springs this summer.  A group of 10 of us rented a house and cooked, relaxed, and sunned together in the hot desert heat. Renting a house with a group of friends for a long weekend is one of the best ways to get out of town, in my opinion (but more on that in a future post)! That desert sun was H-O-T but we cooled off in the pool with some refreshing adult beverages.

My ideal outfit for our weekend is below.

{free people swimsuit, D&G sunglasses, madewell chambray shirt, dolce vita sandals, lovers+friends shorts, rebecca minkoff tote}

I love the pop of a bright swimsuit, and mixing patterns in the same color family bring visual interest without being too busy. Plus the bag has room to carry everything you need - including sunscreen. Do NOT forget the sunscreen! The chambray shirt is the perfect layering item for cooler nights, or air conditioned rooms.

What do you wear in the hot hot heat to keep cool?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

recipe: grilled arugula and fig pizza

One of my favorite parts of summer is outdoor grilling.  I mean, in California we are lucky enough to have good grilling weather pretty much year-round, but there is something about grilling in the summer that is just the best.

Grilled pizza is a great way to mix things up. I try to incorporate whatever is fresh at the farmers market, and whatever we have in the fridge and pantry. Once you get the technique down, you really don't even need a recipe. That's the great thing about homemade pizza - it's an anything goes kind of meal. I usually make the below pizza with pears, but the figs looked too good to pass up!

pictures by alittlebicycle

Recipe - Grilled Arugula and Fig Pizza
1 premade pizza dough (or if you're brave, make it yourself! I stick with Trader Joe's brand)
Scoop of flour (for rolling out the dough)
1/4 c walnut halves
Olive Oil
4 oz. gorgonzola
1 pint fresh figs, halved
1 1/2 c arugula
3-4 slices prosciutto

Heat up a gas grill to medium, or if you are using charcoal, keep the heat low. Roll out the dough according to package instructions. Heat up a pan on medium high heat, and once hot, throw in the walnuts. Shake the pan frequently to keep walnuts from burning. Once fragrant and browning, take them off the heat and set them aside for later.

Brush one side of your dough with olive oil, and place the dough onto the grill, olive oil side down. Leave it on the grill long enough to get it crisped up and some light grill marks, 2-3 minutes. Really depends on how thin you've rolled out the dough. Take the dough off the grill and flip it over (grilled side up). Sprinkle the gorgonzola and figs liberally onto the dough. Throw it back onto the grill, until the dough is cooked through, the cheese is melted, and the figs are soft, another 3-5 minutes.

Off the grill, sprinkle the arugula and the walnuts over the top of the pizza, and rip the prosciutto into bite size pieces, sprinkling that on top as well. Drizzle with olive oil.

This is a tough recipe to measure out - it is best to go by your own taste and judgement. Good luck, and let me know if you try this recipe!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

weekend snaps

delish brown butter rice crispy bars, my neighbor's beautiful succulents, some very good news from my fortune cookie, and  amazing clouds at sunset after a crazy summer storm

chicken and waffles for breakfast, strolling through my favorite nursery, squeezing in some sunning time on the deck, and ending a great relaxing weekend by the firepit

Thursday, July 12, 2012

eat this poem

I just stumbled across such a beautiful food blog. I think the best food blogs combine genuinely delicious recipes with beautiful pictures of the food they've made. This blog, Eat This Poem, also incorporates the author's love of poetry.  Every post has a recipe, but also a poem or line of prose that inspired it. I love the parallels between the food she cooks and the poems she loves.

I think this Nectarine and Gingersnap crumble might have to be my next kitchen project:

Check out her blog ~ lots more beautiful pictures and recipes where this one came from! What will your next kitchen adventure be?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

tea towels

One of my favorite details in a kitchen are the tea towels. They can add a pop of color or a little dose of light-hearted humor to an otherwise serious space. They also make the perfect hostess gift, and they can be a practical and beautiful gift wrap alternative.

A round-up of my favorites below:
{1, 2, 3, 4, 5}

Monday, July 9, 2012

summer hair 101

In most parts of the country, the heat has become sweltering. I am pretty lazy about my hair all year long, but the heat of the summer makes it particularly difficult to put any effort into my hair beyond the basic ponytail.

Luckily, there are some super simple styles that actually take about the same amount of effort and produce much chicer results. The bun, braid, and ponytail are the trifecta of summer styles. Below, some examples of chic and easy styles that will keep you cool.

{1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}

The key to any of these styles is having the right tools. Some hairspray, bobby pins, and a teasing brush will help you easily achieve a chic summer 'do.

paul & joe

I have been a big fan of the resort 2012 shows. One of my favorites is the Paul & Joe collection. I love the soft colors interspersed with pops of bright red and black, and all the prints are fun and casual without being childish.

My favorite looks:


Monday, July 2, 2012

a note

In this digital age, one of the nicest ways to express friendship and love is to send a handwritten note. There are tons of great handmade notecards out there, and one of my favorites is Set Editions. Their cards are beautiful, and some also have a cheeky sense of humor, for your friends that would appreciate that kind of thing. The charm is in their simplicty. The perfect little note to put a smile on a special someone's face.

Friday, June 29, 2012

garden party pt. 1

I do not have a particularly green thumb. I have killed many plants in my lifetime, even a succulent here and there, which are generally thought to be pretty foolproof. I mean, they barely need water - how hard can it be? But I continue to try anyway, and have actually succeeded in keeping a plant or two alive. As my gardening confidence grows, I am ready for a new challenge. There is a corner of land outside our bedroom window that is a serious eyesore. Just a small square of dirt that is so hard it might as well be cement. And even though it looks like no life would survive there, my aesthetics tell me to do something to make it beautiful. Inspired by gardens like the ones below, I think the perfect solution is a raised garden bed.

{1, 2}

Both of these gardens are much more spacious than mine, but I love the vibes of each one. I can picture myself walking through the first garden filling a basket with fresh produce for dinner. And I love all the colors and textures in the second picture. That bench would be a lovely space to just sit and relax.

And so I present to you: step 1 - the raised garden bed:

It doesn't look like much yet,  but I think with a bench, some gravel, and a few more potted plants, we'll really be onto something. And I highly recommend this frame - I put it together myself with just a drill. It only took about ten minutes. Next step is laying down some gravel to hide that depressing dirt. I'll keep you posted on the progress! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

color combo: coral and gold

My boyfriend and I recently moved into a new house. Most of our existing furniture fits nicely, but we have a guest room to furnish, which we didn't have before. My favorite part of that has been deciding what color scheme to go with. I tried to get away with working some pink in there somewhere, but that didn't fly with the other half so I have settled on coral instead. And lately I have seen coral paired with GOLD and I am in love. Next to the pop of color, the gold acts as a balancing neutral.

The inspiration:

{1, 2, 3}

Get the look:

{1, 2, 3, 4 (similar), 5, 6, 7}