Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Light bright, part deux

I seem to be obsessed with lighting lately. I think that this might be because although I've altered almost everything in my house to look the way that I want it, the light fixtures haven't been changed. The ones in my house are hideously generic. These would be so pretty instead, don't you think?

Although these lamps are lined with copper, they also give off the color of rose gold, which is a big trend in fashion right now. I like to think that these would give off an incredibly rosy glow, which would be so flattering for a dinner party (if I was the type to throw dinner parties... or cook, for that matter). I love the look of having a grouping of these like the picture above, but I also think that a single lamp would look great centered over a Saarinen table like this one:
Perfection, right? Shit, now I want to redecorate my entire dining room. Y'all are a bad influence!

Thought for the day

The boyfriend wants to retire to Costa Rica. Because I'm incredibly pale, this sounds like a sunburn of epic proportions waiting to happen. I might cave if he let me build this room:

Rings and Things

I'm not a huge fan of jewelry as a Valentine's present, just like I'm not huge on the generic red rose bouquet.
However, if you are the type of girl who's looking forward to something sparkly on the fourteenth, isn't this a lovely ring? I love the contrast of the chunky ring with the delicate micro pave diamonds. Plus, I've always thought that the mathematical sign for infinity is such a gorgeous representation of love. If you're not in the mood for a ring, Love Rocks NY (which was featured in February's Lucky) has some unique necklaces and earrings as well.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I'm blue... but in a good way!

I'm constantly broke.
There, I said it. Like most of you my age, I don't have a whole lot of money to be throwing around at trendy beauty products. Not that I don't want to, and not that I don't do it regardless from time to time, but I have to make up for it by eating lots of peanut butter and honey sandwiches (which are delicious, just so you know). So when I come across a bargain, I get really excited. And then, if you're lucky, I share my finds with you!

Navy nail polish was a huge trend on the spring runway. Now, you're thinking to yourself, "Nailpolish? Shit, even I can pay for nailpolish." Really, smarty pants? Let me show you the "it" nail polish/beauty product for Spring '08:

 That's right, it says Chanel on the bottle. That should have been your first hint that this way probably way too expensive. This is Chanel's Blue Satin polish. I found a bottle for sale on Nordstroms for $19.... that's right, almost twenty bucks for nail polish. And while Nordstroms (seems to) still have some for sale, it's selling like meth all over the country. It's already hit Ebay and is selling for almost $40. Now, who out there thinks that forty dollars for a bottle of nailpolish is reasonable. Not I!

Usually we can count on good old OPI to give us the trendy polish colors for the season at a less expensive price. They didn't let us down this season with their Russian Collection (which comes out on Feb. 6th). Here's Russian Navy:

It looks a little bit more purple than the Chanel polish, but OPI is usually pretty good being true to color. OPI polish tends to run about $8 for a bottle, which, at more than half the price of the Blue Satin, is a steal.

I thought I was going to have to fork over the eight dollars for a bottle of Russian Navy, and then fate intervened - I ran to the local Kroger at about ten thirty at night two weeks ago to grab the new US Weekly and ginger ale (yes, I make impulsive late night decisions like that). I was walking past the organics section when a display of nail polish caught my eye. "Organic nailpolish?" I thought to myself, "I must investigate!" So it turns out that it wasn't organic nailpolish, but I discovered this instead (sorry I couldn't find a better pic):
If you're a slave to things being "this season", I'm afraid that this won't be the polish for you - it's a Sally Hansen polish from Fall '07. If you're like me and you could give a damn, then this shade is perfect for you. It's called Navy Venom, and you can buy it at Walgreens/CVS/ Walgreens for $6. That's right, six bucks! Plus, Sally Hansen's Salon line is great - two coats give you plenty of coverage, it's hard to chip (and this is coming from somebody who usually fucks up a manicure within two hours of getting it), and it's free of all the bad stuff (toluene, DBP, and formaldehyde). 

So what's the moral of the story? Make impulsive beauty buys late at night at the grocery store, and save yourself from paying designer prices! 

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Light Bright... light bright... turn on the magical shining light!

I may be the only person you know who hopes to one day have a house with bare lightbulbs. Like this:
Have I lost my mind? I don't think so. Thanks to the genius of artist Tord Boontje, there's a really beautiful, reasonably inexpensive way to turn these into a work of art. Behold:
The Garland Shade Light ($80 at the MoMA store).
 I can't begin to tell you how beautiful this thing is in person. Imagine the most incredible Christmas garland ever, cut delicately out of brass and coated in silver or gold. The light filters through the garland (which can be wrapped as loosely or tightly as you choose, as well as in any shape you can imagine), casting a beautiful warmth over the room. The garland is also so delicate that it moves with a breeze -  check out the Studio Tord Boontje website linked above for an example. And, oh my god, at night:

Amazing, right? If you're more traditional and prefer a more shade-like shape, then the Midsummer Night's Shade is right for you:

(again at the MoMA store, $85)
This one would be great over a dinner table because you'd get a more concentrated light source. Although this may be a more traditional shape, the white color gives it a modern twist. 

And for those of you sitting at home thinking to yourself, "Eighty bucks? That's a lot!", think of it this way: these fixtures give you the grandeur of a chandelier. Think about finding a chandelier for eighty bucks, and then think about the fact that you don't have to pay anyone to come install these pieces. Seems a lot more reasonable now, right? 

His studio also works with textiles, furniture, and other medium. His other projects aren't quite as affordable, but are all statement pieces that merge modernity with delicacy. If you're decorating your bachelorette pad, Tord Boontje could be the one for you.

*By the way, if the style of art looks familiar, then you're probably a Target junkie like me: Boontje designed the Christmas decorations for the store in 2006, as well as a limited-edition holiday line.*

Friday, January 25, 2008

Jukebox Hero

It's cold here. And rainy. I'm in sweatpants and slippers. Even the dog seems a little melancholy. This kind of day calls for laid back, bluesy music. Thankfully, I've got the perfect soundtrack.

Cat Power's new album, Jukebox, came out on Tuesday, and it's pretty much been on repeat on my iPod all week. I started listening to Cat Power (real name Chan Marshall) beginning with her CD The Greatest, but wasn't originally drawn to the music because of her. Let me explain:

I grew up in the Mississippi Delta. The Delta's probably not known for a whole lot, but one thing that it is famous for is its blues musicians.  My hometown is actually gave the world BB King, who many would argue is the greatest living blues musician. He returns every year for a homecoming concert, so as long as I can remember, I've gone to see this living legend play in our town park (jealous yet?). Since I've been exposed to blues music my whole life, I have a real appreciation for the musicianship involved. What really drew me to The Greatest was that the backing band would be some of the most talented studio musicians from Memphis, who she called the Dirty Delta Blues Band. So while I was originally excited to hear the work of the backing band, it was Chan's vocals that drew me back.

Jukebox is an album of covers (Chan's second, following 2000's The Covers Record), but this record is far about as far from sounding like bad karaoke as you can imagine. Still backed by the Dirty Delta Blues Band, she puts her sexy, bluesy twist to songs ranging from "New York, New York" (which she calls simply "New York") to a gorgeous version of Janis Joplin's "Woman Left Lonely". These aren't your cover standards either - my personal favorite song (which is only available on the deluxe version of the album) is the the Roberta Flack standard "Angelitos Negros". If you thought that making Latin music sexier was impossible, you need to check this song out.

As great as this song is for just lazing around the house on a gross day, it is also an incredibly sultry album. I can picture sitting in front of the fire with a cuddly blanket and a glass of red wine with your significant other with this as your soundtrack. In fact, I'm going to break out a bottle of Merlot right now. Enjoy!

Personal Chef Wanted

I just got done watching Ratatouille (which, if you haven't seen, you should) and so I have food on my mind.
Oh, and Paris... but that's another post entirely.

I'm not a very good cook. I'm a great recipe follower, but you can't throw me at a refrigerator and tell me to make something out of the contents without watching me have a total meltdown.  The boyfriend, however, is a fantastic cook. The Food Network website is his porn. And while I can stare (and drool) at the lovely pictures on their site all day, sometimes their recipes get a little overwhelming.

That's why, when I feel the urge to be domestic and make a romantic meal, I rely on this:
That's right, ladies and gents, The Joy of Cooking. You've probably seen it in your mom's kitchen, your grandma's kitchen, and, if you're married, you probably got it as a wedding gift. There's a reason it's everywhere - it's absolutely fantastic. This cookbook has something for everyone, from the most kitchen-clueless novice (me) to the pro about to graduate from culinary school (my ex-boyfriend, who shares my love of this book). Need to know how to boil pasta? It's in here. Want to learn how to properly get the marrow out of beef leg? Yup, that's in here too. Best of all, the instructions are really clear and there are illustrations (don't pictures make life so much easier?).

So next time you want to impress your honey with a home cooked meal, or you just can't live another day without making a pot roast, go raid Mom's cookbook stash for this one. Life's much better with a full belly.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cheapy Art

First of all, big apologies for no post yesterday. I burned the shit out of my fingertips last night making cornbread (which turned out crappy anyway) and it hurt way too bad for me to be able to type. Luckily my fingertips are okay and I'm back!

Secondly, I know that couture week is going on. However, I feel like I've been writing about fashion too much lately and thought that I would change it up a little bit. I may write a little bit about fashion weeks in February, but I'm staying out of this week's action other than to say breeches, Karl? Really?

So now for something completely different...

I love art, but as a broke twenty-something, I don't have the money to have a crazy collection. I have one nice Chihuly painting that was a twenty-first birthday present, but everything else in my house is a nicely framed poster of artwork that I love (Miro's Blue II hangs over my TV) or inexpensive pieces by local artists. I'm always on the lookout for places that sell great affordable art, which is part of why I think that Etsy is so awesome.

Another site that I love is 20x200.com.  I discovered this site thanks to the awesome bloggers over at Modern Art Obsession, which is a great read if you're a fan of the contemporary art scene. The idea behind 20x200 is this: each week, two pieces of art are contributed - one photo, one work on paper. They're then printed in three sizes. The smallest size is printed in batches
 of 200 for $20. A medium size is $200 for an edition of 20, and for serious collectors, an edition of two in the largest size is for $2000. Pretty cool, right? The range of artists is pretty impressive too - no huge names, but lots of up-and-comers. Plus if you don't see anything that you like one week, you only have to wait another week until a new batch is printed. Also, they
 continue to sell the older editions until they're all sold out.

This is one of my favorites from an artist named Linzie Hunter. It reminds me of some of the folk art that I've grown up with. This series is based on the subject line of spam emails that show up in her inbox. I love the idea of making something so fun out of something that annoys so many of us every day.

Here's another example of something beautiful out of something ugly. This photo is called Brooklyn Morning, and it's by a photo- grapher named Youngna Park. While I love to think that these are multi-colored balloons after a crazy party, I'm afraid that it's multi-colored latex of another sort. However, the color contrast against the gritty pavement is striking.

New editions are posted on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 2 PM EST. Check it out next week to see what's new. 

Monday, January 21, 2008

All My Friends Are Getting Married... I'm Just Getting Drunk at the Open Bar

I never have an excuse to wear pretty dresses. I always see gorgeous summery dresses and think, "That would be so cute!" and then realize that I have no reason to spend that kind of money on a dress that I would only stare at in my closet.

Luckily, this summer I have a great excuse to stock up on girly, flowy dresses: I have about a zillion weddings, rehearsals, and engagement parties to go to this wedding season. I think that this dress from Derek Lam would be so lovely for a summer wedding. I even think that I could pull off this color!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thought for the day

Can someone please invite me to an event where I'll need shoes like these? Please? I'm a really awesome date....

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bootyful Boyshorts

I love underwear. Ever since I travelled to Paris in high school, I've had this crazy fantasy of being the kind of person who wears fantastic lingerie under even the most boring outfits. It's like having a little secret pick-me-up under your clothes! Unfortunately, I'm not that kind of girl, mostly because I just can't afford to be. 

Instead, I try to wear semi-nice panties almost ever day. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good pair of cotton granny panties, but I feel like I have a little more bounce in my step when I wear a great pair of silky boyshorts instead.

First off, a word about boyshort undies... I know that thongs are the traditional "sexy" undies. But ladies, seriously, how sexy do you feel with a piece of string up your crack? Not very. I understand. I love my Hanky Panky thongs as much as the next girl because they're adorable and they help avoid panty lines, but as much as people try to convince you that you will never get a wedgie with these, they're wrong. A thong is a thong, and eventually it will end up in your bum. That's why boyshorts are so amazing- they're wedgie-proof. Plus, they make your butt look great. Plus if you're trying to impress a new guy (not that I would know anything about that, Mom and Dad...), they're sexy without trying too hard.

So while fantasy shopping on Figleaves the other day (Sidenote: Am I the only one who does this? Pretends to shop like I have an unlimited to budget, fills up a cart with pretty things, and then doesn't buy anything in it?), I found these Mary Green boyshorts that I'm currently lusting after. Each pair says I love you in a different language (Engligh, Chinese, German, Spanish, Italian, French, and Hebrew). I can pronounce all of them except for the Hebrew, so if anyone wants to send me an email or comment about the pronunciation, that would be awesome (and for those who are curious, the Chinese pair's pronunciation sounds like "whoa aye knee"). Anyway, I think that they would be absolutely adorable for Valentine's. Unfortunately, at $105, they're a little too much for my limited budget.

In the meantime, I've been buying these panties from Target like I'm stocking up for a war - because seriously, who wants to be wearing old underwear when you're under attack? Anyway, here they are:
A word about these panties: If you have not discovered the wonder that is Gilligan and O'Malley underwear,  run, do not walk, to your nearest Target and immediately buy some. They will change your life. Honestly. These pair in particular are amazing. They're a microfiber material, so they're really comfortable, they stay in place (aka out of your buttcrack), and they look way more expensive than they really are. Not to mention that they have been guy approved (again, Mom and Dad... I only know this because somebody told me so).

So go out and wear boyshorts today. Your butt will thank me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Little Yadda about Prada

I'm just going to come out and say it: I love Prada. Especially the accessories.

Miuccia Prada is definitely a love her or hate her type designer. She definitely doesn't design the type of clothes that I look at and think, "I know exactly where I'm going to wear that outfit." Honestly, in a lot of cases I don't know that I ever even would wear some of her clothes. Her clothes definitely challenge you. For example, this outfit:

Ok seriously, where the hell am I going to wear this? In Mississippi? That's right... nofreakingwhere. But then you look at the accessories. Here are the shoes:

Now, you may disagree with me, but I think these rock. They're a great basic black sandal, but the ombre detailing towards the toe and the elastic band at the top of the foot adds some really interesting touches. Plus the heel actually looks sturdy enough to walk in, and what girl doesn't love that?
Now here's a bag from the same collection (which, in
 case you can't tell, really focused on texture and color):
Again, a fantastic, classy bag. More great ombre on a super-lush leather, and the longer strap and side zipper add some cool hardware.

As you can see, I might be a teensiest bit in love with Prada at the moment. SO I was amazingly excited when I checked out what would be coming for spring of 2008. 

Lately I've been digging things that are kind of whimsical and fantastical, but also a little twisted - think the original Willy Wonka (tangent: how awesome is Gene Wilder?).  Evidently Ms. Prada's been thinking the same thing because her designs were covered in these hippy chick/fairy sketches and looked like they had been dyed in watercolors.  

While I loved the concept, the clothes were a little too pajama-esque for my taste (you can check out the collection here), I absolutely loved these bags!
*To see these bags better click here
I know! Gorgeous, right? First of all, I love that off-white/nude/ecru/whateverthefuck seems to really be one of the big color trends for the spring. Secondly, how great are the doodles on the purse?  This is definitely a purse that you could carry that would have every girl in the room wanting to know where you got it.

Now, if only it was in my price range... *sigh*. Oh well, a girl can dream!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Black Apple

Yesterday, I mentioned a super awesome Etsy artist named Emily Martin.  Well today I'm going to rave about her a little bit more!

First of all, if you don't know about Etsy, let me fill you in. It's an awesome site where artists can buy and sell their creations. You remember that artsy kid that you sat next to in high school that drew the incredible sketches instead of paying attention in 8 AM algebra? Yeah, he's probably selling his pictures on here now. You won't find any "major" artists on this site, but you may discover the next big thing. There's paintings, jewelry, arts and crafts... pretty much anything you can think of you can find here. Best of all, most of stuff is uber-inexpensive. My adorable hedgies? Twenty-two bucks - what a steal! The most expensive thing that I've stumbled across on the site has been $275 for a custom oil portrait, and even that's a deal.

Okay, enough about Etsy... I'm sure that I'll be raving about other artists as I wander across them!

Emily's fantastic site is called The Black Apple. She has anything from original prints to custom-made stationery to hand-sewn dolls. This girl is super-crafty. I'm pretty sure that she could make just about anything she wanted to. So here's a few of my favorite things off her site: 

This is an ultra-cute package of postcards that she calls As Long as I Have You. Lately I've become a huge fan of old-school snail mail. Remember when checking the mailbox was fun and it wasn't stuffed full of bills? Me neither. But I'm in my first long-distance relationship, and I think that these would be perfect for sending sweet love notes to my adorable boyfriend. PLUS, if you look in the bottom right corner, there is... that's right... a hedgehog! How perfectly moi!

This adorable collection of four prints is  based on Alice in Wonder- land. We have Alice, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the Queen of Hearts. I love this because when I envision Alice in Wonder- land, it's not super cutesy Disney Alice, it's the way that I feel like Lewis Carroll would have wanted it to be: slightly off-kilter and a little eerie. I mean, let's be honest about what the Caterpillar was smoking - this might not be the kiddie story that Walt Disney had in mind! That's what I love about Emily's artwork - it manages to have an innocence to it, but there's always something a little... odd... about the characters. So I think this is awesome, and I'm kinda thinking I might send it to my friend who's playing Alice on a Disney cruise right now... don't ask!
This sweet little sketch is called  I've Learned to Clip My Wings. I can't figure out how to make it any clearer, but the text coming out of her pigtail reads "I've learned to clip my wings and soften my ways." It comes from a song called It Amazes Me that everybody from Tony Bennett to Liza "with a Z!" Minnelli has covered. Now, I kinda have a thing for angel wings and so I think this little girl's shedding wings are amazing.. Plus j'adore this quote. I feel like Angela Chase (Claire Danes in My So-Called Life... god I miss that show) would have drawn something like this after having a fight with her parents and dreaming about Jared Leto.

Okay I have to stop now or I'm going to buy out her store!

One of the things that I will tell you about Emily's Etsy shop - she sells out fast. Of course, I have the inside track to help you out - she has a blog! She's pretty good about updating when she adds new things to the shop, so if you check regularly you should be good. She's also pretty fashion-y too... and has another blog for that! What can't this girl do?


Monday, January 14, 2008

The first

I want a hedgehog. 
Seriously, how can you not look at these things and not think that they are absolutely adorable?
However... I can't have one because a) my hound doggy puts everything in her mouth, and this would be the best chew toy EVER and b) they're nocturnal and I would want it to play with me during the day.

That never stopped me from asking my parents for one every single Christmas. And of course, they said no. So a few years ago, my mom started getting me a collection of hedgie figurines that I keep around my house and they make me
 super happy.
*Note: I may be the last person that you know that doesn't have a digital camera. HOWEVER, I have a birthday coming up in t-minus less than a month and am expecting one then. In the meantime, deal with the fact that I'm using Photo Booth to take my pictures and they aren't of the greatest quality.*

This is the toy that started it all. This is Señor Hedgehog. Why is he Spanish? I'm not exactly sure, other than the fact that my brother decided that he needed a Spanish accent, and I just went with it. Thus, he was dubbed Señor Hedgehog. He's been very well loved on by my puppy.

Here's a super cute little chubby hedgehog. It's got a little groove on it's bottom that makes it so that it could sit along the edge of a potted plant, but since I've managed to kill every houseplant I've ever had, he just chills on a side table and looks fat and happy.

This was last Christmas's hedgie. It's supposed to be a Christmas tree ornament, but I leave it out year round. It's got an apple stuck to its spines because there's a Roman legend that hedgehogs would climb apple trees, shake the fruit off the branches, then roll around in the fallen fruit, getting them stuck on its spines, and then taking the apples back to their dens. Hedgehogs can't climb, but it's a pretty cute image, right?

This is the latest addition to my hedgie family. It's called Little 
Hedgehog Goes Fishing and is hanging in my bathroom and makes me smile whenever I get out of the shower. It's by an awesome Etsy artist named Emily Martin. Check back tomorrow and I'll tell you more about the awesomeness of her artwork and her Etsy site!

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Hi everybody! Welcome to my site! 
I'm new to this blogging thing, so this will be my first attempt at writing something on a daily (I hope!) basis. I hope you'll stick with me while I learn through this whole process, and I hope that you'll have fun with it and maybe learn something too!

What's this site all about? I'm constantly finding new things that I fall in love with on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. I love sharing my new discoveries with people! This is going to be a little bit of everything. Sometimes I'll write about fashion that I love, sometimes about a new book or movie that I've checked out, and sometimes, when I'm just feeling lazy, I'll send you over to somebody else's website to check out their stuff... hey, I'm not totally self centered! 

So that's about it from here. I hope you'll love this site and check me out on a regular basis!


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