December 31, 2011

What My Nails Are Wearing NYE

So I know what my nails are wearing for New Year's...not sure about the rest of the outfit yet. 

Raspberry with sparkles nail color by Essie in Wild Thing.

I am wishing you all a very joyous, safe (no, drunk driving, I mean it!) and friends and family filled New Years Eve.  Here's to 2012 being the best year ever!

December 30, 2011

DIY Friday: Inspiration from Around the Web

The weekend is here and while I would love to spend the time crafting it up on Saturday I will probably be busy, busy, busy prepping for New Year. However Sunday would be the perfect day for a post partying low key crafts. I am just itching to try this group of projects that I have seen in the blogosphere.
Instant film wall art cuteness over on I Spy DIY. While I don't have instant film, this project would give me excuse to make prints from some of those digital pics living in my computer.

Or maybe I should bling out my camera strap like they did on the Glitter Guide.
Then there is always this winter friendly glovette project from P.S. I made This.
...and finally while this is not a website, it is definitely craft related. I am loving Rediscovered Treasures by Ellen Dyrop and Hanna Kristinsd├│ttir.  It is a visual treat filled with projects that turn thrifts store/ flea market finds into functional beautiful objects.

A three tier jewelry tray made with mismatched china.

A magnetic notice board made from a metal tray with aluminum candy molds with magnets glued to them.
Has the winter brought out your in DIY diva?  What sort of projects have you been working on?

December 28, 2011

Christmas Haul

Hi all! I hope you had a lovely weekend, whether you were celebrating or not, I hope it was filled with laughter and joy.  I had wonderful time celebrating Christmas eve and day with my family and was sorry that it was over too quickly.  While my favorite part of the holiday is being with family, laughing (seriously my sides hurt) and the food there are the presents.  Which will certainly remind me of the day long after it's over.  It was a great gift giving year, everyone was so thoughtful, and no returns needed.  This post is a pictorial guide to the gifts I received this year, I also received gift cards( thanks Mom and Dad) and money (thanks Grandma) which I did not take pictures of. Without further ado (or blah, blah, blah from me) here is my Christmas haul.

I received a few gifts before Christmas, this lovely pendent was one of them.  The necklace is from my friend, who picked up this jewel on Esty. The bead is glass with a flower design and the inscription reads "women friends they heal us and light us up inside".  So true! Thanks Caralyn-
Another before Christmas gift! Some yummy smelling Coconut Lime Verbena body lotion and fragrance from my friend Debbie.  Thank You!
New nail polish and the prettiest nail clippers courtesy of my mom.  Revlon Top Speed nail polish in Vintage.  Stayed tuned for some nail art with this pretty shade.

Some new reading material, thanks mom!  I love magazines, in my opinion they are the perfect non-dense reading material for a rainy or snowy day.
These delicious chocolate covered pretzels are from Mom and Dad.  Oh they know my sweet tooth can't resist.
This delightfully antique looking watch necklace was from my brother Tom and his girlfriend Cat.  You know how I love antiques and vintage jewelry, thanks you two.

This beautiful eye palette is from my brother Sean and his girlfriend K.C.  The lovely set has eight, eight eyeshadows and an eyeliner! I can't wait to play around with them. Sigh I love makeup it's art supplies for your face.

Kensie brand PJ's from Mom and Dad.  This was the only item on wishlist this year ( I ask for pajamas every year and it's become a tradition).  This set is adorable with it's heart and fair isle prints.

This trio of kitty ring holders was something I had seen in a fair trade catalog in the fall. I had showed my mom and wouldn't you know it, they ended up under the Christmas tree.   Cute and functional,  one of life's best combinations (next to sweet and salty chocolate covered pretzels).
This gorgeous delicate stacked silver ring set was another surprise from Mom and Dad.  I had said to my mom in passing that I liked the look of stacked rings and she made a note of it and jumped on Esty to find me this darling set. Made of silver with one amethyst stone

The final piece to my Christmas haul is not an actual item, but an experience.  My parents bought me an hour massage at a local day spa.  Perhaps they have noticed all the knots in my back or the stress related twitching, in any case I am looking forward to booking my appointment.

Enough about me! What did you get this year?  What were the stunners? Were there any stinkers? I would love to hear all about your holiday so leave a comment in the box below.

December 24, 2011

Nails DIY: Upon a Midnight Clear

It's Christmas Eve day and I am feeling all the excitement and joy that comes with the holiday. That Christmas spirit snuck up on me quite suddenly and pretty soon it will have disappeared as quickly as a morning frost. The other day while I was feeling very festive I decided to paint my nails for the holiday events. What I ended up creating was not a traditional Christmas scheme, I created a midnight sky filled with small stars surrounding one large bright star. I am pretty pleased with the results and I think that the look will work with a variety of holiday outfits and would even be appropriate for New Year's eve festivities.

Midnight Blue - OPI Road House Blues
Silver with fine point brush - Color Club/Art Club Steel this Look
Top Coat - Sally Hansen Dries Instantly Top Coat

Step 1:  Use a base coat if desired then do two coats of midnight blue polish on each nail.  Allow to dry at least 10 minutes.

Step 2:  Using a silver polish and a fine point brush draw one large silver star on each nail ( I did an asterisk style star).  Then around larger star paint small silver dots to create the appearance of a sky full of stars.  Allow to dry at least 10 minutes to avoid smudging.

Step 3: Seal each nail with one layer of a clear topcoat.

There you go, mystical midnight nails, whether you are singing carols round a tree or ringing in the New Year, this look will surely serve you well.

December 21, 2011

Color Block For a Gray Day

Week two of my outfit posts comeback. The self portraits were hindered by the lack of sunlight and the fact that they were shot later in the afternoon (lesson learned). The rainy weather today dictated my outfit head to toe. I was going to wear a long skirt, but I did not want to be dragging it through puddles, so instead I opted for my new gray stretch jeans. The sweater's bright colors served as a counterpoint to the grayness of the day. The boots, well I love my new rain boots (sigh). They are the perfect combination of adorable and practical, they were a bit of a splurge for me, but so worth it. Oh and just a heads up the Kate Spade boots I'm wearing in this post are on sale at Piperlime.

Sneak peak of my nail post for Friday...hint, hint.

I am so obsessed with these boots I can't stop staring.

I call this move prancing goose. 

A tribute to the awesomeness of the Kate Spade "Randi Too" boots.  Hehe they make me so happy!

Question for bloggers who shoot their own outfit posts, what are some tips/tricks for shooting indoors?

December 19, 2011

A Look Back At The Blogging 2011

To say that I have spent a lot of time at the computer this year would be the biggest understatement of the year.  I don't even know how many hours I have clocked working on my blog, researching posts, editing pictures and the like. Reflecting on this year I realized that the majority of my time has been dedicated to my creative outlets (blogging, drawing and writing) and to my personal growth.  I have left behind things that were oppressive and have taken on challenges that have made me see the world in a different way.  My heart is lighter this year than it has been in a long time and I want to send out the best wishes to those of you who have joined me and my blog this year.

This post is devoted to my "top" posts of this year.  Looking back at all the posts I have created this year gave me a sense of accomplishment, and it also allowed me to form a clearer vision for where I want to take my blog in 2012.  I hope you enjoy my top 10 round up of 2011.

1. Outfit Post: Olive and Berry to the Max! - This is by far one of the most creative outfits I have put together this year. I took a risk with the color combination which goes to show you that, fashion risks can pay off big time.

2. Fashion History: Regency Era Dress - I spent a lot of time researching the images and the content.  It  was a great deal of work, but I am really proud of this post.

3. Shopping: The Anti Black Friday Shopping Guide - Pretty much what the title says.  My shopping guide for going against the "Black Friday" crowd and doing something different for gifts this year. Also a great way to support the local community.

4. Beauty: Donating Nine Inches of My Hair - This was a year of big changes, change of job and a change of hairstyle.  I cut off nine inches of my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths and recorded it for posterity.

5. Beauty: My Morning Makeup Routine - Sometimes the simplest post can be just what the blog ordered.  I let readers in on my secret (well not really) morning beauty must haves.

6. Outfit Post: Prep School - This was another outfit post where I took a major fashion risk and the sartorial payoff was huge.  This post is a part of the Blogger's Do It Better Challenges over on Pretty Shiny Sparkly.

7. Shopping: Vintage Inspired Outwear - I am always inspired by fashions of the past. In this post I use three fashion illustrations circa 1960 to create a contemporary shopping list for a swinging sixties look.

8. Fashion History: A look inside 1930's Sears Catalogs - Another post that was heavy on the research, but since I love fashion and history it combines two interests into one post.

9. Fashion History: My Style 1996 - A post dedicated to my own fashion history. I enjoyed looking back at my more fashionably free-spirited self. The remembrance of my former fashion edge has rekindled the desire to break out of any style ruts I tend to fall into.

10. Outfit Post: Welcome Back Outfit Posts - When I first started this blog I was looking to dedicate it to my personal style, revolving around my outfits.  For about two months though my outfit posts had disappeared from my personal style blog.  Struck by the irony I ordered a remote for my camera and I am fully dedicated to documenting my style through 2012.

Is there a favorite post on this blog that I didn't mention? I would love your feedback so let me know what you think.  It will help me shape my blog for 2012.

December 16, 2011

C. Wonder and Awe

This week I had the pleasure of exploring the new C. Wonder store at the Westchester Mall in White Plains NY.  As I passed through the bright lime green and gold trimmed doors I knew I was in for a sumptuous and visual treat.

View of a wall set up in the house wares, section.  Ikat printed mugs and bowls line the shelves.
C. Wonder is a new lifestyle brand that aims to be a different kind of retail experience.  It offers products ranging from clothing and accessories, to house wares and home decor in a kaleidoscope of colors.   The  brand emphasizes the great value of it's merchandise, high quality materials, beautiful details and the ability to personalize all for a reasonable price point.  The average price tag in the store is under $40 with most items weighing in for under $100.

A wall displaying brightly colored nylon bags ranging in price from $24 to $68.  The bags can also be monogrammed  in store to personalize the product.
The C. Wonder monogram alphabet. 
The store setup echos that of a luxury residence.  A grand entry, rooms branching off the main floor plan, ample and cushy seating all around the store.  A great place to take a load off after an afternoon of shopping.  The different "rooms" are setup to create a color scheme or theme for that area.  Even the dressing rooms aim to be a step above the rest with a control panel to adjust the lighting, play music and call for assistance as you try on the stores apparel offerings.

A close up of the control panel in the poshly appointed dressing rooms.
C. Wonder's apparel offerings are classic and casual in their aesthetic. The range of  brilliant hues give the classic silhouettes a fresh spin. Items ranging from turtlenecks to T-shirts and blazers to denim. There is a small assortments of shoes; rain boots, moccasins, pumps and flats all in an array of brilliant colors.  I took a fancy to the black suede pumps that can be adorned with the optional shoe clips, so retro!

Turtlenecks in a rainbow of colors.
Shoe clips "dress up "a basic pair of black pumps.  Classic Suede Pumps $138, Elva Fields shoe clips $18.
Check out the arm party on the mannequin!
I am a huge fan of accessories so I spent an ample amount of time perusing the jewelry "room" in the store. Bangles, rings, baubles and charms.  A girl could really lose her head in here.  The jewelry is high quality in appearance, but the price tags are reasonable ranging from $24 for a statement cocktail ring to $78 for a long necklace with crystal adornments.  I really liked the charm bracelet station, you pick out a chain and then pick your charms. A great way to create a personalized gift.

Beautiful cocktail rings are artfully displayed.
Crystal adorned necklaces and bangles.
Another example of the personalization component of C. Wonder, the charm bracelet station.
The staff also play a huge part in making C. Wonder different from other retail destinations.  They are cheerful, helpful and ready to make your shopping experience the best.  You are able to make your purchase anywhere in the store, assisted by the staff with the mobile points of sale, as well as the main checkout area in the center of the store.

I had the pleasure of speaking with a couple of the associates, Vjosa and Krista, who echoed the cheerful and bright philosophy of the company.  They both talked with great enthusiasm about the store and their co-workers, saying the most difficult part of their job was not buying all the new products the store gets in.
Vjosa and Krista, in the store uniform of white button down, denim and a monogrammed apron.
C. Wonder is sure to be a holiday shopping destination. With the variety of products offered, there is something for everyone and in every color of the rainbow.  The grey days of winter really are no match for this technicolor shopping experience.  If you are in the neighborhood of one of their retail locations in Soho, The Westchester Mall, Roosevelt Field, or Westfield Garden State Plaza make sure you stop in. Can't make into a store you can still experience the product selection through their website.  You will definitely be transported into the luxurious, bright and colorful world of C Wonder.

A big thank you to Britney Lasater and the THINK PR team for the invitation and for making me feel so welcome at the event.

December 14, 2011

Welcome Back Outfit Posts

Some days I have trouble deciding what to wear (not the worst problem, I know).  Perhaps it's too many choices in my closet or nothing seems right, when faced with these conundrums I opt with classic head to toe black. Black is certainly my uniform of choice and a great building block for any outfit. Remember just because black is basic, it doesn't have to be boring, add accessories, add colorful shoes or socks.  The choices are endless really. As Audrey Hepburn proved in Stanley Donen's Funny Face (1957) black can make a powerful statement, create a lean, sleek silhouette and give you the power (with the help of a little dance) to express yourself. The outfit I wore today was certainly an unconscious homage to the black turtleneck and trousers that Hepburn's Beatnik chic character wore in the movie (scroll down for a clip). 

This is my first experiment in shooting myself using a remote for my camera. 108 pictures taken about 10 were good. Let's hope the odds improve.

Disclaimer: I was in no way ever trained as a dancer, most days if I get by without tripping it's a miracle.

A word of caution, black can make you appear deep and mysterious, be prepared to receive glances from handsome strangers.

Nearly fell over striking this pose. I am willing to risk personal injury for my blog.  Now that's commitment.

The headband is the only new item I am wearing, purchased at Anthropologie on sale, $6.95.

Oh geez what did I do now? Gold bangle borrowed from mom (shh).

December 12, 2011

Winter Wonderland Nails

I was feeling sluggish over the weekend. The sudden cold snap sent me into hibernation mode,  all I wanted to do was stay indoors where it was cozy and warm (somewhat). While I didn't get much done in the way of running errands, I did do some cleaning (yay!) and experimented with nail polish (more yay!) to create this wintery inspired look.

I had a lot of fun creating this winter inspired nail art and I have gotten quite a few compliments on the look since. I think this is the perfect look to try for the holiday party season, the white color is a bright beautiful background for the fun and festive sparkles. Here's what you will need.

A White Polish:

A Blue or Silver Sparkle:
I used Revlon's Whimsical, $4.50

A Clear Topcoat:

Step 1: Use a base coat if desired.  Paint one light layer of opaque white polish let dry.  Follow with a second thicker coat.

Step 2:  Once nails are dry to the touch, layer one to two coats of the sparkle polish over the white.  The more coats applied the more sparkles that will be appear (it's like magic!).  Allow to dry completely.

Step 3: Give nails one coat of clear topcoat to protect polish (gotta protect your pretty handiwork).

There you go three easy steps and you are ready to go walking in a winter wonderland..or (if you are like me and freezing all the time)stay at home by the fire.

Let me know if you take this look for a spin.  What color are you wearing on your nails now? Are you planning on trying a special color or look to go with your holiday attire?