Monday, August 30, 2010

Giveaway - Nate Berkus' Home Rules

It's giveaway time again!  You'll notice I don't do these often (yet), and only when I get my hands on something I think you ladies will really like.  This week I'm giving away a copy of one of my new favorite decoration inspiration books - Home Rules by Nate Berkus

I love Nate's cool eclectic style and how the rooms look really livable and not too perfect.  I love having books like this around when I'm trying to fill a space and looking through them before I go to Homegoods in case I see something I may not have considered otherwise. 

If you want to enter to win your own copy, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post.  If you follow me (see right) or like me on Facebook, let me know in your comment and you'll get two entries.  Deadline to enter is 8:00 Central time on September 4th.

You do not have to create any type of account to leave a comment and please tell your friends!

P.S.  I've registered my blog on - a free service that consolidates giveaways on blogs and sites all in one place.  Check them out if you like free stuff!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Where are they now: Clarissa Darling

Earlier this summer I showed what the Baby Sitters Club would be doing (and wearing) now and now thanks to Facebook, my friend I started thinking about the awesome shows we watched in 1992 and quickly recalled style icon Clarissa Darling of Clarissa Explains It All.  I think she was ahead of her time with her headbands, layering, and fearless accessorizing. 

If Clarissa was 13 in 1992, she'd be 31 now and since I'm in a silly mood I made up my own Where Are They Now update.

Clarissa is a journalist (those bedroom newscasts were good practice), but focuses mainly on the art and fashion scene.  She has a style blog and is a freelance contributor to Lucky magazine and Bazaar.  She still loves to layer and mix colors, even when meeting with an editor. 

On the weekend, Clarissa goes vintage shopping with her friends and sometimes out to bars with her brother Ferguson.  They got over their fights and like taking photos together.

 And finally, yes, Clarissa married Sam.  However, it's a new relationship.  They grew apart in college, lived with other people, and then ran into each other at the grocery store while at home for Thanksgiving.  A reunion dinner led to drinks and now they go to a new restaurant every weekend.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Practically free!

Today I'm feeling especially accomplished because I discovered the array of products on and bought 24 vases for my wedding for $24 plus free shipping to a store nearby.  That's so cheap that I'll be letting guests bring the hydrangea centerpieces home with them.  If you're in the market for wedding supplies, check out what you can get for almost nothing!

(None of this is super exciting, I know, but you'll find identical things for much more at Target or even WalMart)

7.5" Glass Cylinder
7" Jardin Vase (I bought two cases of these)

Stoneware Plates
I think these would be great for a wedding (then resell on Craigslist) or to keep around for parties.  They look just as nice as the $8.99 versions at Crate and Barrel.
These would also be great if you're having a party and want to set out food, but don't have lots of serveware. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Decisions, decisions... a sleeve for my Mac

I've been carrying around the same laptop sleeve for about 6 years, and it has seen better days.  Since it's something I use almost every day, I think it's worth my time to find a really cute one among the thousands of options online.  Here are some contenders: has hundreds of options ranging from $19 to $80+

From Nancy (via Etsy) uses mod fabrics and fleece to create chic options for under $25.  I'm loving the blue and yellow option (shocker!)

Kimoley Bags (via Etsy) uses neoprene in great modern prints to make laptop sleeves as well as Kindle and iPad covers.  Right now, this shop is in the lead.

Bertie's Closer (via Etsy) is a shop devoted to laptop/iPad sleeves in a huge variety of fabrics.  I love that you can get an Amy Butler print Mac sleeve.

And if you want everyone in the conference room to do a double take when you unpack you bag, check out the Lollington shop on Etsy.  I love the geeky chic, playful designs. 

Which ones do you like best? 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Overthinking the mantel

I've got a lot of projects in the queue now that I'm done moving.  They are, in no particular order:
And you would think that that's enough to focus on, but no.  I have to start obsessing over what to put on our mantel.  I want a collection things that go, but don't necessarily match.  Kind of like these:

Eventually, I want to find a cool accent mirror like these (all from

However, in the meantime I've tried to arrange some things I already have and see how I like it.  Right now I rate it a 5 or 6.  I'll be adding new things as I find them, but I can't think of what to put in that empty spot on the bottom.   Thoughts?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Plum Perfect

This fall, aubergine is going to be a big color.  I'm glad because it looks great on pale skin and dark hair like I have, but it's really flattering on a lot of complexions and I'm now in the market for a plum colored dress in addition to a few other pieces.  Here are some candidates:

LOFT Cutaway Necklace Tee

This top can get so much wear since it's not very thick and will look great with work trousers and skirts as well as jeans and boots.

I don't mean to keep posting things from one store, but they've really embraced the trend this year.  This dress looks cute on its own but would also be a nice bottom layer under a cardigan with tights.


I want this, but the neckline may be a little too high for me and for $88 it should be perfect.
You know I had to post at least one cardigan...

I'd wear this to a wedding...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Good idea?

I've mentioned before that in my new house, I get my very own office/workout/TV room.  I'm really excited and want it to be fun and cheerful, but I don't have tons of money to spend on my vision.  Since I'm not up to painting yet and the carpet is beige, I want some fun curtains.  I am currently in love with this duvet from West Elm.  The red will tie in well with this huge vintage movie poster I have and I think the pattern is elegant in a crazy way.

My idea is to get a twin duvet cover ($49 and 86" long) and rip the side seams and cut it so that it creates two window panels.  I think if I iron the cover enough, they'll look ok and the end with the buttons would be on the floor behind my desk.  Then, if I tire of them, I can make pillows.

What say you?  Good idea or likely to fail?  The material isn't thick, but I could line it with my extra Ikea curtains.  I've been searching for a while and everything that I like is $89.50 per panel so this would soothe my guilt at wasting $180 on curtains.

I think I will head over to West Elm at lunch today and do some scouting...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mark Your Calendars - Friday at 11:00 Central

If you haven't joined Gilt yet, now is the time!  I just learned that on Friday at 11:00 Central, Gilt is offering a pre-sale of three new designer lines at Target.  Tucker (great 70's inspired clothing), Mulberry (ladylike handbags) and John Derian (housewares) will be launching this fall and will likely be snapped up as quickly as the Liberty of London line. 

Marie Claire featured several of the Tucker pieces in the September issue and I actually marked the page with a post-it last week, so I'm pretty excited to see what's on pre-sale.  Hopefully the site won't crash...

Click here for an invitation to join Gilt

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reader Request: Shoes beyond 5 to 9

A couple of weeks ago my friend Sarah asked me to do some searching and find sources that carry shoes in extended sizes.  She has tiny feet and doesn't want to wear shoes for children, and another friend wears a size 11 and wants more than four options.  Challenge accepted.

Petite Feet
I think has the best selection of shoes in any size, but I was surprised to see 4,714 styles in sizes 4 and 4.5 (seriously!)   Some of the options are a little pricey, but definitely grown up and not intended for kids.  I like ECCO for dressy shoes (around $100) and another brand called Pleaser, which definitely makes shoes for strippers, offers some options under $50 that aren't too ridiculous.
If you wear a size 5, you'll be happy to see that Aldo offers 42 pages of totally grown up shoes in your size.  The prices range from $30 to over $100 and cover a wide variety of styles from clogs to flip flops to sexy evening pumps.

For those that do wear kids sizes, Sperry offers lots of Girls styles that don't look much different than the adult versions.  I like the gladiator sandal and soft leather ballet flat for every day.

Jessica Simpson (via
The Jessica Simpson line for girls also features some pairs that look like they're meant for women.  The sandals look most adult, but the boots aren't bad and I know those are hardest to find in sizes 3-4.

More than a 10 (again)
Once again, Endless is the best source for large size shoes as well.  There are 26,078 pairs in sizes 11-12.5 alone!  The prices range from low to reallllly high, but there's definitely a variety of styles to be found in large sizes.  I was happy to see that AK Anne Klein offers lots of pretty, good quality shoes in sizes 11+ for under $75. (again)
Aldo comes through again and offers hundreds of shoes in sizes 11 and larger (50 pages worth!) There are great options for work and evening, many under $50

 J. Crew
If you can afford it,  J. Crew offers most of their shoes in size 11 and many of them in size 12.   Sign up for their emails and watch the sale page for deals and final sales.
Like Endless, but with less junk.  There are 910 pairs in size 11 and 204 options in a 12.  Here are a couple of pairs for under $50 in a size 12

Hopefully this post was helpful - I certainly learned where to look for shoes!  If you have a request please send it over and I'll work on a post.


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