Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pretty cheap necklace

I just spent 2 hours and 40 minutes watching Sex and the City 2 (omg so many dresses!), so I don't have time for a long post today.  But I will leave you with this before the long weekend:

Martin & Osa is having an additional 50% off sale this weekend for Memorial Day (and their impending demise) and this gorgeous, unusual necklace will be only $24.  It will be perfect with a white tank top and sunglasses this summer, or with a black jersey dress and sandals for dinner and drinks on a patio, or a host of other options I can't name right now.  Their jewelry is usually pretty high quality, so I doubt you'll have buyer's remorse even though all sales are final. 

Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day Weekend in a duffel bag

I used to be an over-packer.  I've gotten much better, but I still like to have options when I wake up in the morning away from my closet.  My secret for the summer is the same as the rest of the year - wear the same bottoms and mix it up with layers on top and chunky jewelry.

Here's what I plan to pack for this weekend (more or less):

The main concept is that everything can be worn with everything else, and dressed up or down depending on where you're going.  The tailored bermuda shorts are a neutral base to pair with colored tank tops and Converse if you're playing around outdoors, then with cute sandals and a thin cardigan for going shopping or to a movie.  The knit dress can be dressed up with sandals or jewelry, and even worn over a swimsuit if you need a cute cover-up.

I hope all of you have fun plans coming up!  (And don't forget to pack the sunscreen.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Super stylish books

I love books, perhaps even more than shopping.  Few things make me happier than sitting on my couch reading magazines and novels.  However, I also love a good book on style and want to share my favorites since they make great gifts (or impulse purchases at Half Price Books)

InStyle Secrets of Style
This book does a great job of showing how to combine basic pieces and what outfits work for different occasions like weddings and job interviews.  I think it would be a great graduation gift for the tempo short-ed graduate in your life.  Ignore the bad reviews, but buy it used since it's kind of expensive for what it is.

The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style...
This book is huge and covers a lot of information, though I still like the InStyle one better for basic outfits.

Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style
One of my very first posts was about how this book helped me clean out my closet once and for all.  It's not a book of pretty pictures, but instead a guide to what you need and how to shop better.

Domino: The Book of Decorating
This is by far my favorite book.  Even though the magazine is no longer around, the lessons and inspiration are still fantastic and I look at this book every couple of months when I think I want to buy something for the house. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More difficult than I thought...

This Sunday N and I went to the Haverty's clearance outlet to look at the Chastain sectional and ended up leaving with a new dining room table.  (We're probably going to get the sofa, in case you're wondering)

I've been couch hunting for a month and eying this particular model for about 2 weeks.  This is a planned purchase that I've been saving for.  The table, on the other hand, was a complete impulse buy.   It's a great size and shape and is expandable in case we have a big party, and for $129 we jumped at the chance to replace our current tables. (Image below is the counter height version)

But now we need chairs.  I don't want it to look like we tried and failed to match the wood, and I don't want our house to look like an Ashley Furniture catalog.  So, my thought is to go modern/eclectic and  get something in a different style than the table.  I've been browsing online retailers and my collection of decorating magazines, and apparently it's all the rage but I'm really struggling.  If you haven't shopped for them recently, know that chairs are Expensive.  Note the capital E.

My favorite options so far are from Crate and Barrel, Z Gallerie, West Elm, World Market, and Overstock.

Tell me, decorators of the internet, which chairs do you think are worth saving up for? 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Centerpiece Test Drive

Today I decided to do a test run of my vision for my reception centerpieces.  I think it turned out surprisingly well, considering it consists of grocery store flowers, an ice tea glass, a $2.69 table runner, and votive candles that come in lots of 72.

Pretend the coffee table is white... whatcha think?  I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with the white hydrangeas.

Treats Under $25

Since spring items hit stores around March, they're now beginning to be marked down about as low as they'll go to make room for summer stuff.  Luckily for us, that means there's lots to be had under $25 and the guilt you'll feel for buying it will be negligible. 

Here are a few things I think may be worth checking out

The Limited Timeless Vee - $13.99
I have two of these tops.  They're awesome.

The Limited Simple Halter Top - $17.49

The Limited Sriped Cardigan - $20.99

The Limited Printed Peony Top - $24.49

Express Elbow Sleeve Rosette Cardigan - $19.99
The roses make this cardigan a little bit Emma Pillsbury...

Express Plaid Long Empire Waist Shirt - $19.99

J.Crew Mum Applique Art Tee - $14.99

J.Crew Silk Linen V-Neck Tee (8 colors) - $24.99

White House Black Market Jet Wedge - $24.99

Lulus Qupid T-Strap Sandals - $19.50

Friday, May 21, 2010

Who knew?

I know I've posted about the JCPenney Home and Furniture department before.  There are well-priced, trendy items amongst the ornate/country stuff and you can find Crate and Barrel lookalikes for about half the price.

If you didn't heed my recommendation then, you should this week since there is so much great stuff on sale and you can get an extra 10% off of furniture this weekend with the Friends & Family event (google it).

I really like this dining set, and plan to drag N to the store to prove that it's not weird looking and a steal for $499 since it includes 6 chairs.

I also like this build your own desk unit if you've got a home office and need some storage.  It looks like the whole wall unit below is about $1000, but you wouldn't necessarily need such to build such a huge piece.

I actually have the headboard below, and I love it.  The padded backing is so great for leaning back and reading books, and it's on sale for $265.  I've used it with both red and blue themed bedding and it looks great.

 I also like the look of ladder shelves, though I've heard you definitely need to use the bolts that come taped to the box and secure them to the wall.  This one is only $99 (three are shown) and I think they'd look great displaying my giant collection of books.

The media stand below is also a steal at $174, and will look much better than the metal and glass eyesores at Best Buy.

 Hopefully I'm not the only furniture-crazy person lately and someone takes advantage of the deals I have to pass up.  :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Deal of the day: Gap Silk Blend V-Neck

Today's Shop It To Me sale mail had a lot of great stuff in it, but the thing that made me click 'add to cart' without hesitation were the Gap Silk-Blend V-Neck sweaters (in 9 colors) for $14.99.  I know, the last thing you want to buy in late May is a sweater, but these are not thick and they're perfect for fall and winter if you don't trudge through snow all day.  (And if you do, you could wear them in the spring?)

Anyway, I have a black sweater and snagged two more for $28.  They run a little big, so go down a size, but I wouldn't pass these up if you know you'll be needing to add to your wardrobe in 4 months.  I wear them with dark jeans, work trousers, and my dark denim pencil skirt.  They're basically a blank, flattering, canvas for statement necklaces and bracelets.

And while I'm talking about Gap... what is the deal with the whole Little House on the Prairie meets Hobo theme this month?  I know my style is not for everyone, but there are few places you can rock these outfits without getting some odd looks.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

For those who don't look forward to swimsuit season

I've been swimming about 5 times in the past 2 years.  Most of the reason is I no longer have access to an apartment pool, but the other part is me hating to be in a swimsuit.  I know I'm no cow, and downright average actually, but I revert back to 17 year old me when it comes time to climb out of the pool and into a lawn chair.

That means I need a good, stylish cover-up.  Here are a few options I like that are also somewhat practical and can be thrown in the wash after they've been soaked in pool water:

Lands End Printed Cotton Lawn Coverup
I like the loose tunic shape of this top, but you'll need to be careful not to wrinkle this fabric or you'll look like you took a nap in it.

Lands End Sleeveless Jersey Coverup Dress
The jersey material means you can throw this in your bag without worrying, and the shape means you can wear it to go get more beer.

Old Navy Cross Front Cabana Dress
The super low neckline on this dress means most women can't (or shouldn't) wear it around town, but it will be just fine over a swimsuit.

Old Navy Hooded Cover-up Dress
I'm not in love with the hood on this dress, but I like the shape and the price.

Gap Empire Dress
This is actually intended to be a regular dress, but I think the cut and cotton fabric make it more appropriate for the pool.

LOFT V-Neck Empire Dress
This is a little much for a cover-up ($49) but it's so versatile and you could definitely wear it to dinner and as a base layer under a cardigan.

LOFT Strapless Dress
This is another versatile top layer that could be worth $49 since you can wear it beyond the pool

For Like Ever

One of my hobbies when I've not got anything important to do is to sit on my couch, drink wine, and look at my collection of Domino magazines.  Now, thanks to reader Hush, I've discovered Lonny Magazine and am in love.  It's an online magazine and features page after page of gorgeous, eclectic rooms. 

While drooling over the pictures, I noticed this poster and remembered it from an old Domino magazine cover.  I still like it, and would love to put it in my house one day.  It reminds me of high school, with my awful verbal tic.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Style I Love: Lily Aldrin (How I Met Your Mother)

I've watched How I Met Your Mother for years, and have always loved Lily's style.  She has a boho-chic style that's interesting but still sophisticated.  Of course, the clothes are designer, but she sets a good example of how to wear prints and mix them.

Here are a few outfits that I think are Lily-inspired:

Frenchi Lightweight Tank Dress - $44
Eclipse Open Front Cardigan - $42
Simply Vera Wang Thyme Wedges - $34.99
Fossil Ari Hobo - $138

I think the modern print dress is very free-spirited, but the drapey cardigan makes it suitable for work and the shoes keep it modern (and give height to us short girls).  After work, lose the cardigan and go out to McClaren's.

Fossil Charlotte Top - $48
Old Navy Perfect V-Neck Tee - $10
Lands End White Boot Cut Jeans - $49.50
Urban Outfitters Ecote Macrame Sandal - $19

I think this would be a hanging out at the apartment outfit, or shopping for produce at the farmer's market while Marshall plays video games.  I like the bright colors of the shirt set against the white jeans and shiny sandals.

Martin & Osa Silk Printed A-Line Tank - $79.50 (plus 30% off)
Lands End Slim Leg Jeans - $49.50
JCPenney Ribbon Trim Fedora - $9.99
Jolie Cross Body Shoulder Bag - $21

I think this would be a great concert outfit (as long as it's not outdoors this summer in Texas).  Bonus points for you if you can rock a fedora without looking silly.


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