September 30, 2011

Weekend DIY: A Little Inspiration from Around the Web

With fall in full swing in the Northeast it's always fun to spend the day outdoors, but fall weather can have some dreary rainy days as well. For the days I am stuck indoors I love to take on a little crafting project. In today's post I have rounded up my current fav DIY projects from around the web. They all are simple with minimal materials, one-day projects that can bring out the inner craft goddess in any girl. Happy Crafting and have a lovely weekend.

Project 1: DIY Sparkly Headband

Project 2: DIY Bow Tie

 Project 3: Rustic Candle Holder

Project 4: DIY Chain and Rhinestone Bracelet
From: Everything Fabulous

September 29, 2011

Dress for the Occasion

I know I write a lot about fashion and style, but I'll be the first to admit I don't know everything.  There are times where I don't know what to wear, especially when it comes to special occasions.  In this post I am calling on all my lovely readers to help me out with a clothing conundrum.

Mid October I am going to be attending a wedding out of state. I am really looking forward to it, since I will get to see family who I haven't seen in over a year plus I also get to dress up and celebrate a happy occasion (you know how I love to dress up). The one thing that has been nagging me lately is what to wear.  Do I need to buy a dress for the wedding or do I wear something I have? I have been trying to watch my expenses so if I could wear something I already own than all the better.   Last weekend I took a survey of what I own and all I came up with was one dress that would be seasonal and appropriate. However I am just not sure it will work for the occasion. The wedding is in the early evening it will take place at a Bed & Breakfast, the venue is upscale, but still casual (if that makes sense). Now that you know the deets here is the dress:

This is the dress I wore to the IFB conference back in September.  I was thinking that with the right shoes and accessories I could dress it up to make it wedding guest appropriate.  I don't know, I am on the fence about it, I need your help.  Here's where you come in, I need you to vote below on whether I should don this dress or shop for another.  Also leave me a comment on what you like, don't like or think would work better.  Thanks readers, you are awesome!

September 28, 2011

Ann Taylor Fall 2011 Collection

Ann Taylor Fall 2011: Top Picks Under $100

I know I have devoted quite a few posts to Ann Taylor lately, but I have been completely blown away by the endlessly chic clothes they have been churning out lately. There are so many great pieces in this fall 2011 collection; capes, fur scarves, ankle boots it's hard to pick just a few favorites. While there are a lot of gorgeous things to choose from, some of the prices are a little out of my budget or would have to be an investment piece. If you are like me and are always trying to stay on budget while looking current, here's a tip.  Take a few key pieces from AT Fall 2011 and mix with the current fall pieces in your wardrobe and you will be set. I have taken the liberty of choosing about 9 pieces that I think cover the best of this season for under $100.  Enjoy!

September 27, 2011

The Book Clutch Crush

I have a bit of a crush. The object of my desire is utterly gorgeous and sadly completely out of my reach. No, I'm not talking about a person, I am talking about about Kate Spade's Book Clutch collection. These clever contraptions appear to be a book on the exterior, with a gorgeous cover and a brief excerpt on the back, but lo and behold they open up to reveal they are not a book at all, but a purse. Kate Spade's website currently has six classic titles to choose from, my favorites are the Emma and Pride and Prejudice clutches. While I adore the design to no end the thing that's stopping me is the price tag. Each of the clutches ring in at $325, yes I am swallowing back tears. Fear not, I am not defeated, I have compiled of list of book clutch awesomeness for under $100 (from the repository of crafty-ness Etsy).  
1945 Vintage Book Clutch, $45 from Etsy Shop Hoakonhelga

Pride and Prejudice Book Purse, $89 from Etsy Shop Spoonfulofchocolate

Little Women Book Clutch, $40 from Etsy Shop TheWriteStuff Design
Emma Book Purse, $70 from Etsy Shop Meitira

Shakespeare Book Clutch, $62 from Etsy Shop BiblioBags
They are pretty awesome, no?  I am even thinking I could try my hand at making my own book clutch, with the right cover and materials.  I will keep you posted if I try to DIY.

September 26, 2011

Style Muse Monday: Joni Mitchell

There is something about fall that brings out my inner wander.  I want to hop in the car and drive without a destination, occasionally stopping to take in the fall foliage and the delightfuly crisp fresh air that define fall. The resurfacing of my inner free spirit is certainly reflected in my wardrobe; light easy layers, chunky accessories and nice pair of well heeled boots. I stumbled across some images of Joni Mitchell from the late sixties early seventies. Her carefree layers, knee high boots and easy free flowing hair are the inspiration for the outfit below. 
The Fall Troubadour

Whose style has been inspiring you lately?

September 23, 2011

Alice & Olivia Fall 2011

I am quite the sucker for any designer line that embodies retro and ladylike chic. Well Alice + Olivia's fall line had me from the first. The collection is a gaggle of gorgeous, vintage inspired pieces, with a contemporary twist.  While the clothes are currently (seriously) out of my budget it doesn't cost anything to ogle them and I just discovered a video online to continue my voyeuristic A+O fall fashion lust. To introduce the fall collection, at my favorite online haunt Shopbop, Alice + Olivia created the short film below. The film features 11 amazing looks and the best game of (fashion) tag ever.

Tag you're it! To see the looks feature in the video head over to Shopbop.

September 22, 2011

Meet the New Ann Taylor

Last night I was very lucky to be invited to Ann Taylor's celebration of their new concept store opening at the Westchester Mall.  Guests last night enjoyed Hors D'oeuvres, cocktails and a little shopping for a good cause, 5% of sales last night went to support the Junior League of Central WestchesterDJ Mandy Coon kept the music upbeat and fun to set the party mood, while the ladies mixed, mingled and ogled the new fashions and accessories.

Lucy Sykes, fashion expert, was on hand to present and discuss the new Ann Taylor October collection.  You may have seen some of the October Collection in the new print ads with spokes-model Demi Moore. Sykes' was candid and animated about being a busy working mom and trying to look stylish.  She got the crowd excited about the new arrivals, as she quickly donned piece after piece with effortless style and grace.  The new Ann Taylor clothing collection and store is inspired by the chic uptown  woman.  Ann Taylor has taken the unattainable (a Madison Ave. heiress budget) and made it accessible.

What about Ann Taylor's new digs?  The new space is clean and modern, but intimate, evoking the feeling of an upscale boutique. The clothes, shoes and jewelry are artfully displayed, beautiful stacks of sweaters next to stunning visuals, jewelry draped on mirrors and hung from hangers, I love it!  Andrew Taylor Public Relations Director for Ann Taylor  was on hand to oversee the festivities.  Taylor had said that his favorite part of the new store was the beautifully appointed dressing rooms, because of how flattering the lighting and mirrors are.  I would have to agree, the mirrors and the lighting in the dressing rooms are amazingly flattering. I definitely recommend stopping by when you are doing your fall shopping. Here's my photo recap of the evening.

Do you not love it? I honestly want everything, unfortunately (or fortunately for my closet) I have a strict budget to stick to, but there are a few key pieces that are on my wishlist. I want to remind all you Westchester based ladies that Ann Taylor is celebrating their new concept store this Saturday and you are all invited. Check here for more details.

September 21, 2011

You Are Invited, To the New Ann Taylor At the Westchester Mall


Westchester ladies this one is for you. Do you love to Ann Taylor, did you know that Ann Taylor is opening their new concept store in the Westchester Mall? This Saturday 9/24 from 1-5 pm Ann Taylor is celebrating their new concept store opening. Enjoy complimentary styling, music, refreshments and 30% off your full price purchase (during the event). If you are interested in attending the Ann Taylor Grand Opening you can RSVP here.  Should be a fantastic afternoon, I hope you can make it.

September 20, 2011

Dior Pretty Party

A few weeks ago I was asked by Lucky Magazine to host a Dior Makeup Event at my local Bloomingdales. An evening in Bloomies, playing with makeup (not just any makeup, the super lux Dior Makeup line), count me in. This last Thursday was the special night, it was so much fun, I learned a lot and I got to explore the full range of Dior products. A small group of us assembled at the Dior counter. Dior had graciously provided the snacks (yummy mini cupcakes Baked by Melissa) and refreshments. There tables were set with Dior samples, from skincare to makeup, for our "classroom".

Guests all received a copy of the October issue of Lucky, featuring the lovely Rachel Weisz on the cover.
Tables set with Dior samples in our "classroom".
Delicious mini cupcakes Baked by Melissa.  I really like the PB&J one.
 My guests and I were there to learn the basics of makeup application and how to take the classic daytime look to an evening event. I got to sit back as the model, while our wonderful Dior trainer Ann Moeller demonstrated the products and techniques. My guests had the wonderful guiding hands of the other Dior experts Carol and Gloria to help the with their skincare and makeup application.

Me naked faced! It's important to start with a clean and moisturized "canvas" before applying any makeup.

The first step for proper makeup application is always skincare, as Ann pointed out skincare preps the "canvas" for the foundation and eye makeup. If the skin is not properly moisturized it will pull the foundation into the pores. My favorite product from the skincare section was Dior Cleansing Water. I had a arrived from work with semi melted makeup and Ann quickly whisked it away with the cool, fragrant, refreshing cleansing water. Another tid bit I want to share is that when applying moisturizer make sure to pat it in gently and give it time to absorb before applying foundation.

Marge gently applying Capture Totale eye cream.

Once skincare was understood and applied, we moved on to makeup. That's when Ann introduced a completely new (to me at least) type of foundation application. She used Diorskin Airflash a spray on foundation designed to delivery an even application of color, giving the skin an airbrushed appearance. Airflash can also be applied to a large brush and buffed into the skin. After the foundation Ann applied Diorskin Skinflash radiance booster pen, an amazing hybrid concealer highlighter designed to eliminate shadows and conceal imperfections. The brush tip lets you apply just enough to cover and it glides onto the skin smoothly. I really like this product I felt like it made a huge difference in brightening my overall appearance.  A sweep of blush completed the complexion and brought out the contours of the face.

Spraying on Airflash foundation to create an even, flawless complexion.

Ann talks about the benefits and application of the Skinflash Pen.

I know the eyebrows might seem like something you can get away with not doing, especially for daytime makeup, but I assure you they have the power to make a tremendous impact. Ann showed my guests and me how to brush brows upward to open up the eye area and how to fill in the brows with a pencil for a natural look with some major impact.   Best line of the night delivered by Ann, "remember you eyebrows are sisters not twins".  The trick to brow perfection is making sure that your brows start peak and end in the right place. The brows should line up with the outside corner of the nose peak on the outer edge of the iris and end at 40 degree angle from the corner of the eye.

Making sure brows align with outside edge of the nose.

Marge making sure her brows line up with the outside corner of her nose.

On to the eyes! My guests and I dabbled with the new Dior 3 Couleurs Smoky eye palettes.  The palettes come with 3 monochromatic hues that let you adjust the drama of the eye area.  A quick flick of eyeliner and some swipes of the amazing (no seriously, love it) Dior Show mascara and we are almost done with our daytime pretty look.  The last step but certainly not the least is choosing a lip color.  First Ann lined my lips with a soft pink pencil, which I never do, but should it made a huge difference.  Next she applied Dior Addict Lipstick in Tulle, a soft pinkish nude.  The Addict lipstick line is perfect for the lipstick phobe, it has the color intensity of a lipstick and the smooth glassy finish of a gloss.

Ann applied Dior Addict Lipstick in Tulle using a lip brush for a smooth even coat of color.
Lucky very generously gave my guests and me Lucky Bucks to put towards our purchase for the evening.  Here is what was in my shopping bag. 
Here are some pictures of my guests and my finished look. Glamorous, no? A big thank you to the Dior Team; Andrea, Ann, Carol and Gloria, and Lucky Magazine for sponsoring the evening.

September 19, 2011

Outfit Chronicles: Black & Royal Blue

It has been too long since I have done a proper outfit post. No, I didn't become a nudist, I was in that weird phase of summer where I was feeling uninspired by my wardrobe. Now with the cooler temperature's creeping back I am breaking out my fall duds and mixing them with summer pieces to create great outfits to transition between summer and fall. Here is an outfit I wore recently, the pieces shown on the right are the same things I am wearing in the photo, excepting the blouse and headband. Let me know how you like this outfit post format. Do you like being able to shop what I am wearing?

Black & Royal Blue

September 16, 2011

Catching Up With Polyvore Members in NYC

Last Friday I had the pleasure of joining Polyvore and some of the website's community members for a lovely lunch at Lavo in NY. I enjoyed chatting with the Polyvore team members about the site's features and with the community members on how they use Polyvore. I am always inspired by other women who are doing what they love and living their dreams, it was a great afternoon. The set below was created by Polyvore and I simply had to share it.

September 15, 2011

Currently Obsessed: Rain Boot Round-Up

Over the weekend I made a tragic discovery, my favorite, make that my only rain boots, had a hole in them. It was a rather unpleasant and sloshy realization. The hole was around the base of the boot where the shaft meets the sole. While I brainstormed on how to possibly fix them, I eventually decided that the best thing to do is to retire them. The boots had served me well over the last two years. They served a dual purpose as rain and snow boots(adding extra thick wooly socks) and I can't imagine my wardrobe without them. This decision sent me into a rain boot searching frenzy, I found myself easily overwhelmed, there are so many styles to choose from now. It seems like it is going to be tough to pick just one. I rounded up my favorites and I am sharing some of my finds with you today.

Are you a fan of rain boots or do you loathe their existence? Do you have a pair of rain boots that you own and swear by? Do tell, I want to know which ones make your fashion and function cut.

September 14, 2011

Movie Style Moment: How to Steal A Million

How to Look Like A Million

The 1966 film "How to Steal a Million"  is a delightful, comic, capper starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole.  The film is a lot of fun and definitely worth watching for the wardrobe alone, designed by Hepburn's favorite designer, Hubert de Givenchy.  Givenchy had said of Hepburn:

She knew exactly how to shape her strong, independent image.  This naturally extended to the way she dressed. And she always took the clothes created for her one step further by adding something of her own, some small personal detail which enhanced the whole.

The film is chock full of fantastic mod 60's clothes, but no matter how bold the ensemble or outrageous the accessories, it was always Hepburn wearing them, not the other way around.  My favorite costume from the film is the black lace number Hepburn wore in the scene when she was trying to recruit an accomplice for the heist.  The fantastic black lace cocktail dress was paired with lace tights and a lace mask.  You would think that head to toe lace would be a bit much, but it is costume confection perfection.   The above outfit is my modern take on the costume from the film. Take a peak at the trailer below, if you haven't seen this movie I highly recommend it. 

September 13, 2011

FNO: Westchester Style

Hi all! I hope you had a wonderful Fashion's Night Out (I want to hear all about it, so leave me a note in the comments).  I was debating whether I would trek into the city or stay home and see what the internet had to offer, but when I found out that the Westchester Mall in White Plains was going to be participating in the fashion fun-ness, I knew I had to go there.  So here's how I celebrated FNO in Westchester Style. 

The Westchester Mall, if you have never been, is an elegant three level structure, think marble and indoor fountains.  Most of the action for FNO could be found on the main concourse of the first level.  Booths were set up to guide shoppers to the store's holding special events, food vendors had tables to distribute samples, stores were holding special raffles and feather hair extensions were being donned.  There was no one demographic out in force, which goes to show the mass appeal of an evening out, with shopping, food, entertainment and music.  A live DJ was spinning tunes on the concourse by Nordstroms, while women of all ages lined up for a custom temporary glitter tattoos.  Black and red feather boas were being handed out to the shopping revelers, who proudly wore them while they surveyed the fun and went off to shop. The two flagship departments stores in the mall hosted live  fashion events. Nordstroms held a presentation of the fall fashions and Neiman Marcus hosted a live fashion shoot.  The fashion shoot had up-and-coming photographers competing to capture a winning image of models striking poses in this fall's hot designer garb. 

All in all it was a great evening out for all ages, the shopping almost, almost came second.  I stopped by BCBG, Cole Haan and Dooney and Bourke who had treats and raffles for the special evening.  I also did some shopping damage while I sipped sparkling water at Ann Taylor.  I hope the Westchester Mall continues the FNO party next year.  

Black and red balloons flanked a table where guests entered a raffle to meet Tim Gunn of Project Runway.

Dooney and Bourke wore there FNO pride on their sleeve er.. window.  Guests entered for a chance to win a Quilted Gramercy Duffle Bag.

Some yummy treats provided by the Melting Pot restaurant in White Plains.  I went with the dark chocolate dip, it was fondue-licious!

P.F Chang's was serving up their famous and fabulous lettuce wraps.
FNO revelers, in black and red feather boas, check out the offerings on the concourse.
FNO attendees had feather hair added to their locks.
Photographers snapping pictures of the models wearing fall fashions from Neiman Marcus.

Model waiting on the side lines of the photo shoot wearing this fall's hottest trends

DJ spinning tunes in the entry of Neiman Marcus.

Woman accessorizing her arm with a temporary glitter tattoo.

Another DJ spun hot mixes on the concourse by Nordstrom.
 Shoppers sample some sweet treats courtesy of Nordstrom.
The are a couple things I would like to see for next year. One is more stores participating in the festivities.  I found that the more stores that were a part of the party with entertainment, food and raffles, the more excitement they contributed to their area. Second thing that I would like to see is the music, beauty and food vendors distributed throughout the main walkways of the mall.  While the main concourse was abuzz with action, some parts of the mall were left feeling a little desolate and far removed from the feel of Fashion's Night Out. 

Did you go to FNO? If so what did you think?