Friday, January 28, 2011

Color swatch

Maybe it's the approaching heart filled holiday that has me focused on red, but there is something about the crimson hue that makes everything feel vibrant without being overly obnoxious. It's a classic choice that makes me feel a little retro and gives my home a luxurious pop. A stack of books beside the bed, gold stamped jewelry cases, puffs of glittered balls, and some light hearted polka-dots have all inspired me to add a little of the color to my life.

A stack of well read art and fashion books by the bed

Silver bowl of glitter puffs

A red leather jewelry case for precious pieces

Red polka dots on a vintage blouse

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Slightly obsessed with

Simple glycine bags and typewriter tags. The best way to wrap a quick little gift.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

La Rosette

I love testing out fancy drinks at hidden bars, watching the bartender craft something with flavors I have never tried, thinking I should really update my bar at home to make it feel a bit special. Because of this, every time I would walk into a liquor store I would gawk at the fluted St. Germain bottle nestled among the other European delights. The bottle and design are perfectly antiqued and the elderflower flavor always sounded like such a refreshing and unexpected taste. This past weekend I finally broke down and bought a bottle to test out a cocktail I had been dying to try, La Rosette. It's incredibly simple, just a splash of the liqueur topped with champagne, but garnished with a fresh blackberry and served on a vintage silver tray, I felt like I was being treated to a bit of luxe cocktailing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blanket wrapped

I've always thought this sweater was slightly funny because it is a heavy knit that wraps in the coziest way, feels a bit like a security blanket...and has no sleeves. A little counterintuitive, but for California winters it was my go to throw on slightly chilly days. Since the white fluffy stuff has permanently cemented itself on the ground in my new local, I haven't been able to wear this sweater on many occasions, until I finally found the best way to introduce it into real winter weather. Wrapped with a leather belt, the wide shawl collar added more warmth than the usual layers I've adopted and the entire day I felt like I had finally reconnected with a piece of my LA wardrobe. My legs may have been freezing (tight jeans really don't provide any warmth...who knew), but my security blanket was able to compete with the warmest of real winter wear.

Sweater, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent; Blouse, BCBG; Jean, Forever 21; Jacket, Target; Bag, Loius Vuitton; Booties, vintage

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cheddar jalapeno cornbread

Once again this weekend I found myself catching up on a few recorded episodes of Barefoot Contessa, which of course inspired me to bake something. The calm Sunday left a perfect window for a little pre-dinner baking so I decided to make something warm with a bit of heat. This cheddar and jalapeno cornbread recipe was incredibly easy to make and the diced peppers and sharp cheese made the batter smell extra indulgent. The bread was light and fluffy and blended in perfectly with the lazy afternoon and evening.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Personal hug

H&M sweater, H&M dress, Hue tights, Calvin Klein socks, Prada booties

Some mornings I grab for my jeans and shirt, throw on my jacket, then run to the car (tip-toe delicately on the ice) with five minutes to make it to work. Basically, I'm usually rushing out the door, but some mornings I get tired of the usual uniform and spend a little more time planning an outfit. The other day I had the urge to wear a skirt no matter how cold it was outside, so I threw on my trusty black tights, heavy knitted socks, and the only sweater in my wardrobe that allows me to tuck in my arms and provide a little extra warmth. Maybe it's a little impolite to offer a hug to myself and no one else, but the cozy feeling is worth a quick moment of rudeness.

Also, thank you so much to Tereza, Theo, and Miss K for giving me the Stylish Blogger Award. It was such a sweet surprise and I can't tell you how happy it makes me feel to know that other people are enjoying what I'm writing. Check out their lovely blogs!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spring daydream

The snow is still covering the ground and the temperature is far from Spring-like, but a little warm weather wardrobe daydreaming never hurt anyone. This Spring I'm looking forward to shoes that tie and buckle, flash a bit of graphic color, and are crafted in soft suede and leather. It's a long way off, but last night's sketching made me forget it was below freezing outside.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Color swatch

Last spring while painting my room I ended up with a stack of paint swatches that I eagerly took from the Home Depot displays in a moment of color overload. The greens, peaches, and yellows looked so cheerful and with names like "freckles" and "goodnight kiss" I had to steal a few more than the recommended amount. Of course after my wall was painted with the one chosen color, my beloved swatches got hung up on the wall and were quickly forgotten. To help me remember the bits of color that can cheer up a day, quiet a room, and relax on an afternoon I went on a hunt for the colors that I'm loving at the moment. Hoping to make this a regular thing, in each post I will share a snippet of inspiration for one color and show the ways I like to work it into my life. This time, soft pink grabbed my attention with fresh cut flowers, an everyday lip, and a vintage plate of sweets. It's girly and used in moderation, perfectly

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sparkly splurge

1. Tinley Road, $68, 2. Nordstrom, $86, 3. Fallon, $212, 4. Cara Accessories, $98

Like most people who have received their holiday credit card bills, my list of 2011 must have items has been contained to window shopping and online fantasy browsing (I think I got up to $25,000 on net-a-porter before I backed away from the computer in horror), but sometimes it's fun to dream of something big and sparkly and splurge a bit...even if it's only in my head. The more gems, chains, or crystals I see on a big statement necklace, the more I fall in love with their costume jewelry quality. Since the work week is almost over and a few days of playtime are around the corner, I thought a good kick off to the weekend would be to pick out some jewelry that was equally playful.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bite sized delivery

What can be better than getting home from work only to find a package waiting for you on your doorstep? The only thing better is when the contents are something sweet, like these adorably retro "cakes" from Cake Monkey (take a moment to awww at that name). The company makes bite sized cakes that look like mini versions of their gourmet parents. My snack version came wrapped inside some familiar looking tin foil that tasted so much better than the processed version. These little guys used to be sold across the street from my apartment, but I never indulged in the sweet. I figured a gift was the perfect excuse to finally try one, especially one that was red velvet with raspberry and a thick smear of sweet cream...a tasty end to the day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The little things

A while ago I blogged about the little things around my place that make me happy, a dish of jewelry, stacked books, even small canisters in the bathroom. I've always been drawn to the little vignettes that style my life, but I never knew exactly why I found such pleasure in setting up these little scenes. This weekend I spent a lot of time relaxing and thinking about all sorts of design related events (weddings, portfolios, even business ventures). While attempting to relax the growing list of things I want to do instantly felt overwhelming, so to calm my anxious mind I decided to go back to onw of my favorite posts for inspiration and focus on the bits of pretty that I like to scatter around my place. They may blend into the background, but when my head needs a little clearing, they're the first things that pop up.

Heart clips for some early Valentine's gifts

A box full of collected jewelry

Rosemary honey, canned tomatoes, and a bright jar

Collection of objects above my desk

Monday, January 10, 2011

Vintage white

Nothing beats the hand-stitched lines of a vintage dress or the ornate buttons that close in the front. Whenever I come across one of these finds in a local store I always feel like I've happened upon something that no one else will ever have. After an impromptu day of vintage dress up I came across one of these illusive dresses and was lucky enough to have two friends surprise me with it on my birthday. The rhinestone buttons, high collar, and heavy white fabric feel so special, while the cut makes it simple and unfussy. Paired with some classic red nails and spotted tights the outfit left me feeling completely polished and unique.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cookbook library

I love going online to pick out recipes, but there's something about opening a cookbook and looking through the pages that makes me feel like I'm really about to accomplish something in the kitchen. With so many varieties available it can be a little overwhelming when starting a library of books, so I've gathered a little cheat sheet to highlight the best categories to fulfill along with a few of my favorite and currently lusted after books.

1. Something to teach you
2. Something that will continue to love you through each splatter and spill
3. Something to show you how to master a craft
4. Something with a bit of history on the rocks
5. Something to sweeten the meal
6. Something to take you out of your comfort zone
7. Something luxurious to show off
8. Something to remind you of home

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Everyday textures

Left to right:


Marc by Marc Jacobs, $248
Topshop, $80
Rag & Bone, $195


Current Elliott, $150
Old Navy, $18
Anthropologie, $80


Lauren by Ralph Lauren, $73
Asos, $130
Rag & Bone, $450


DSW, $20
Marc by Marc Jacobs, $258
UGG, $139

I love the feeling of cozy textures on cold days and nothing reminds me of curling up at home more than a classic knit sweater. Paired with soft corduroy, distressed slip on boots, and a hands free bag, the look keeps my head at home even if I have to brave the weather outside during the daytime.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Learning to cook

A you can see by my food inspired posts, I love experimenting with new cooking adventures and regularly find myself flipping to the Food network to find inspiration for recipes. Since I started writing this blog, I've collected a good number of foodie inspired posts, but never took the time to organize them. For Christmas I decided to finally sit down and organize my sweet, savory, and drinkable recipes and gift it to the person who taught me a lot of the kitchen tricks I use today, my mom. Packaged in a glossy metal container, I wrote out the ingredients to the meals I remembered most (those being the ones that didn't stick to the pan or release a plume of smoke).

Paul picked up these recipe card for me, but here is a freebie card for you to organize your own favorite foods.