Thursday, September 30, 2010

Online places I love: La Dolce Vita

Another great source of decoration inspiration is a blog called La Dolce Vita.  Paloma, the creator, has impeccable taste that's very modern/youthful/glamorous and posts a lot of gorgeous items that inspire me to save my money and buy beautiful things.  My favorite feature is Fabulous Room Friday and when the poses 10 questions to other designers.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Online places I love: Wedding Gawker

Sometimes you just need a flash of inspiration to figure out what you want in your house... or at your wedding reception.  Wedding Gawker is just that - an ever changing source of inspiration for brides.  The tiles link through to blogs, vendors, and wedding photos and helped me approach my reception in ways I couldn't have come up with on my own.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Online places I love: Design Sponge

This is a super obvious post, but my online day would be much less enjoyable without the multiple doses of inspiration I find at Design Sponge.  That site has helped me get the courage to purge all my old stuff and find my real style and only buy things that I love for my home.  My favorite features are the home tours, which is where I found lots of the inspiration photos in my Facebook album.  Check it out!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Online places I love: Tipsy Society

I love reading the Tipsy Society page, run by four fabulous friends in Houston, who share tips on shopping and where to find great stuff at good prices.  They also share recipes for drinks, food, and have led me to make several online impulse purchases.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Online places I love: J Crew Factory Sale

I love J.Crew Factory outlet stores a million times more than real J. Crew because I can actually afford the clothes.  Think $69 for a sweater instead of $98.  The overall look is the same, and I was thrilled that last week they launched an online Factory store site.  The catch is it's only available on Friday-Sunday so check it out this weekend!

J. Crew Factory Online

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Online places I love: Knight Moves

A few weeks ago I stumbled across Knight Moves and my mouth dropped open as I looked photo after photo of Kyle's home.  She's a fellow Texan, and although I don't know her, I aspire to decorate like her one day.  Anyone who can put together a room like this has a blog worth reading...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Going to the chapel... and leaving you with other sites and things to look at

I am getting married on Saturday.  I cannot believe the past 6 months have flown by so quickly and it's actually time to execute all my plans and then go off for 8 days to explore Vancouver, Seattle and Whister!

As you may appreciate, I'm pretty busy this week and won't have time to write before I get back on October 5th.  However, I've planned ahead and for the next several days you're going to see a series of short posts that I've written head of time pointing you to other great places online.  You may have already heard of some, others will be new, and I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do!

To kick it off, here's a blog I read every time she posts:

Confessions of a Wannabe Fashionista

My Canadian counterpart, KDot, posts about her outfits each day and inspires me to not be so lazy and iron my shirt and shave so I can wear a skirt and heels.  When I start to wear jeans and flip flops again, I think "KDot would jazz this up with a belt".

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where more dresses live -

Earlier this year, I discovered Modcloth.  I've spent many happy lunch breaks looking at dresses and buying my perfect pinup swimsuit.  Several of you have also become devotees, and now thanks to my friend Allison, I have a new site for you to love.  I may be a little late to the party here, but Ladies, meet Ruche.

The site has a very similar vibe to Modcloth, some of the exact same dresses, and prices that are often a bit lower.  In addition, they have an awesome selection of plus size clothes that don't look any different that the rest of the stock.  Some of the items below are plus size and you'd never know it!

I am in love.  The selection of tops, skirts and accessories is not to be missed either.  Check it out!

And if anyone is wondering, my favorite dresses are the second and fourth ones on the top row.  :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

DIY Candy Buffet

I am on a roll this week!  Since my wedding is this weekend (eek!) I knew I needed to get going on any preparations that could be completed and packed up before the wedding day.  I knew I wanted to offer a big selection of candy for my guests to assemble their own favors, but I wanted to make the containers special so I decided to copy some of the designs I've seen online and wrap the glass in ribbon for a quick, impactful update.

I can do that!  But without lids... that's just asking for broken glass

I have 6 large glasses vases and bowls in various shapes, picked up from Homegoods, Hobby Lobby and borrowed from my cousin. (Budget $7-9 each if you are going to buy them all)  I went shopping and got 1.5 inch wide ribbon in my wedding colors as well as some 1/2 inch ribbon to layer on top of it.  I also picked up some double stick tape.  Grand total: $18

I measured out ribbon to go around each vase and overlap about a half inch.  Then, I placed 1-2 inch pieces of tape along the ribbon and stuck it to the vases.  I found that leaving a couple of inches between each piece of tape let me adjust the ribbon as I applied it and make my stripes reasonably level.  As with my other projects, I had to remind myself that there's not going to be an inspection... it would have taken a long time to make perfect stripes and I'm just not that patient. (The photos of this step turned out badly, so just imagine me painstakingly applying ribbon to glasses vases)

Then, I headed to Target and found that they sell 42 oz resealable bags of candy like M&Ms, Skittles, Kisses, Reese's Pieces, and Starburst.  The price per pound came to under $3 and that was less than I found anywhere else, so I stocked up on almost 30 lbs of it!  However, I got a little too excited and bought everything on a lunch break visit to Target... not realizing until I got back to the office that I would need to lug it all inside so it wouldn't melt in the Texas heat.  Oops.  That was a bonus workout!

I also bought white organza drawstring bags ($2 for 10!) at  They're 4x6 inches, which I hope will keep people from packing up half a pound of candy like I saw at another reception.  I've heard that people tend to try and fill whatever container you supply so beware of large cellophane bags.

The finished containers are shown below, and I'll be carefully packing them up so they can be filled with candy at the reception.  Stay tuned for shots of the buffet in action later this month!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Venturing into vintage

I find that I like the idea of vintage clothes more than actually rummaging through racks of old, smelly things.  I prefer a more well edited selection, free of Cosby sweaters and 80's power shoulders.  I recently saw an ad for an Etsy shop called Apt 22 and love that the offerings are cute, well selected, and not overpriced.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What to wear for photos - the sequel

Those of you who've been reading here for a while will remember that my photographer friend Zoe, of Zoe D. Photography, helped me to write a post earlier this year about what to wear when being photographed.  (You can read it here if you missed out.)

Zoe has just written an update and posted it on her photography blog, and I love the outfits and color palettes she recommends.  Here are her picks for late summer and fall outfits if you're planning a portrait... or just going out.

Notice she combines classic shapes with saturated colors and just a touch of trendy so a picture won't look dated. 

Zoe books photo shoots far in advance, so if you're in the Dallas area, check out her site and start thinking about family photos you may want to take next year. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My love of letterpress

I love typing "letterpress" into the Etsy search box and seeing what unique and wonderful things I could buy for under $30.  Since I'm redecorating, I'm always on the lookout for unique pieces that I can use to keep things from being too expected.  Let's all learn to say no to mass produced pictures of the Eiffel tower and signs that say Bistro in Lucinda Handwriting.

Here's some cool alternatives:


Now which one should I get? 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tucker for Target - get it while it lasts

Tucker, the new designer line at Target launched this week, and judging by the quick sellout of the Gilt site, it won't last in stores for long.  The vibe is very 70's and if you want some fall clothes with a vintage feel, you should check it out.  Here are a few of my favorite pieces:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Diaper bags for the discerning mom

I have several pregnant friends, and more who are new moms, and I have recently begun to understand the importance of a chic diaper bag.  As one friend put it, "I will carry this bag almost everywhere I go for about 3 years - that's more than any purse!"  Faced with the prospect of carrying one bag 1000 times, I sure as heck would not pick a $50 bag made of cheap vinyl with a juvenile pattern on it.

I'm not sure why people hesitate to invest in a diaper bag (besides the fact that it might get dirty).  Moms deserve to look at stylish as anyone else, so if you're in the market for one, get something you'd carry without a kid in tow and by all means, say no to pink gingham.

In the interest of  helping out, here are some some stylish options that cost no more than a good purse you'd deem worth to carry from now until 2013:

Timi and Leslie - "Hannah"
This is my top pick and hands down the best brand I've found in my searches tonight- I love that it looks like a great purse but still has all the baby equipment

Timi and Leslie - "Charlie II"
This comes in five colors... and I would carry it on airplanes or to work without having a child.

Kalencom - "Hannah Messenger Bag"
For the sporty moms...

Debbie Rott - "Brian"
(Dad could carry this one too)

Isoki Reversible Diaper Bag
I love how this bag goes from floral to basic black, depending on your mood

Skip Hop "Studio Tote"

Reese Li "Lexington"

Kate Spade "Union Square - Stevie"
I know this would be a splurge, but it's so chic...

Storksak "Olivia"

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fabulous Fall Top

I'm very lucky to work in a casual office where I can wear jeans and tee shirts whenever I want - I will never complain about this.  However, it can be tough to strike the right balance between too casual and over dressed and I'm always on the lookout for shirts that will dress up my jeans.  I mentioned last week that I had ordered this top from Lands End Canvas because I thought it would integrate well into my closet.  Well, the shirts arrived this week and I am a very happy camper!

I don't get excited about shirts very often, and I like this one so much I'm ordering it in black (or gray, I can't decide) too.  The material is like a soft t-shirt, and it's thin enough to wear now and will work well layered under bulkier sweaters and coats this winter.  It hits at the top of my hip (that picture makes it look short) and runs a bit big, so go down a size if you order one.  (I'm usually a large because of my chest, but the medium fit me perfectly)

And since I'm in a good, new shirt mood, I thought I'd share one of my two free shipping codes that I got for placing an order.  As many of you know, Lands End Canvas rarely marks anything down or offers discounts (because they don't have to) so this is a generous offer for them (they charge $8.95 to send a shirt!).

The code can only be used once, so if you're seriously going to buy something, be the first leave me a comment with your email address and I'll send you the free shipping code and PIN.  Happy shopping!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The DIY continues: Clearance chair camoflage

It's no secret that I could buy out the West Elm store if I had enough money and space in my house.  I love almost everything in the store this fall and often stop in on my lunch break to browse the clearance corner in the back by the bathroom.  Last month I was doing my usual walk through when I hit the jackpot - a gray striped scoop back chair for $34.99 (regularly $99).  I love the modern lines and that it's actually really comfortable to sit in while I type this post at my desk.

However, the nice people at West Elm Dallas don't mark down new chairs for fun.  My chair is missing a piece of gray laminate in the top right corner. The spot is about as big as a quarter.  It took me about a minute to decide to buy the chair, and most of that time was wondering if it would fit in the trunk of a Solara (it did). 

I knew, thanks to my constant Etsy browsing, I could find an inexpensive vinyl decal to cover the spot and I'd be good to go.  After some searching, I decided that the stripes on the chair would go well with a set of 3 bird decals for sale in the Elephannie shop.

Once my decals arrived, I wiped down the chair, removed the backing and positioned each bird where I wanted them (using the head of one to cover the damaged spot).  I used a credit card to smooth out any air bubbles, then peeled back the cover sheet.

Five minutes and $7 later, I was done.  I like the look of the finished product, but if I get bored with it one day I can peel off the birds and pick something new since vinyl decals don't cause damage.

Whatcha think?


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