Finishing Touch

These Kate Spade bangle bracelets are just about the happiest jewelry I have ever seen. I love the simple design and catchy colors and think, with my love of black and overall monotones, these might be the perfect kick for all my outfits. Like an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence!


Happy Anniversary!!!

Today is Laura and Joe's 6th anniversary ... yeah!! I thought a post with these Wanye Thiebaud inspired wedding cakes would be a great way to celebrate the occasion. These cakes, by Caitlin Williams (who was a co-founder of the famous San Francisco bakery Miette Patisserie) were created for her wedding by carefully studying the original. Not only are they gorgeous, they sound delicious. Seen here: a chocolate layer cake with new orleans-style coffee ganache and vanilla buttercream, as well as a white cake layered with lemon curd and iced in a luscious raspberry buttercream (courtesy of Design*Sponge)


Take a lesson from Shadow...

...find a beautiful, relaxing spot and have a great weekend!

The Men Have It

I think we all agree that the choices women have when it comes to clothes are a lot more fun than men. There are some things they totally have us licked on though and one of those things is button-down shirts (an all-time favorite fashion item of mine). Sure, the oxford and dress shirts for women are cut and tailored to fit the differences in their body type, but as far as I am concerned, nothing beats the cut and clean lines of a man tailored shirt. That is why, whether I am at Brooks Brothers, JCrew, or the Gap, I hit the men's section and just buy the smallest size. It's a classic look I never get tired of and a fashion tip that I've followed forever.

Dreaming of heels?

I've always been a flats girl--always. I've only worn heels for very special occasions, including my wedding...but I took those off (lovely cream Marc Jacobs kitten heels) and wore my havaianas right afterward. So it's a wonder when I suddenly have a hankering to buy heels. I've been studying the J. Crew heels in the latest Sept. catalog and I see some that are really cute. So my next dilemma is...where would I wear these heels? I definitely couldn't get away with it while working in a library. I'd look like I just came back from a job interview or something... and on weekends I prefer casual comfort (not the sweatshirt variety, of course). So I'm stuck. I guess I'll have to just dream about them for now.

Madewell, J. Crew's little sister

Have you visited Madewell yet? Owned by J. Crew, i kind of see it as the younger sister store to the more sophisticated J. Crew. Their store is cute-- very small & quaint. I have to admit I haven't bought anything there yet, but I like to see what they're up to each month. It's geared towards the teens/ early 20s crowd, but it's still pricey. I like some of their sweaters, tees, & scarves.....Maybe I'll make the leap soon and buy something. Their PR/Marketing is brilliant. I'm loving the current web campaign featuring Camera Obscura's music and fun finds from The Inside Scoop.

Happy (rainy) Friday

Happy Friday everyone! It's looking a bit grey today in the D.C. area, but I kinda like that....This lovely photo is of Quebec City by the talented Anna Bond of Rifle.
Hope you have a good day...Ciao!


Whooooo doesn't love this?

OK, that was kind of a bad pun...but you have to admit, this print is pretty adorable. I really love images of birds (owls in particular) and the prints by Aline Yamada (yumiyumi on Etsy) are one beautiful image after another.


Ribbon Frenzy

I love ribbons and I'm happy to see that Angela Liguori has returned to her Etsy shop. Her ribbons are simply gorgeous.

oh! I like this....

I am a fan of brooches and I especially like this one from Sara Trickett's LUCKYOU handmade on Etsy.

Makeup Brushes!

My personal philosophy on makeup and makeup tools is that there are certain items you should definitely spend extra money on and there are some you can save a little here & there.
Definitely spend a little extra for foundation, lips, blushes, & eye makeup ( which I personally never wear). You can always tell a good quality lipstick from a so-so brand. Foundation is where you can dramatically see differences. The better quality ones go on smoothly & have an even coverage, without having to use so much of the stuff. Blush is probably personal taste but I generally go for the name brands because I know my Benefit blushes will work. You can save on mascara & eye pencils. I find mascaras, when I actually feel industrious enough to wear them, to be about the same across the board--even with all the different types out there. For makeup brushes: I try to save a little in this department. I don't spend anything over $25 on brushes. I know the bigger brand names have fabulous brushes out there and I'm sure they're worth the money because the hairs on the brushes are a better quality....BUT there are good brushes to be found at stores like Target for much less.
I like Sonia Kashuk's tools. They're mid range, but very good quality as well. I have to admit that when I was in the market for a new blusher brush and Sonia's brand was out of stock, I ended up buying the Target brand blusher & loved it.
For lash curler I always always use Shu Uemura (again, I don't use this as often as I'd like because I"m lazy but when I do...I go for the best!)
Hope this helps!


Worth Repeating

Ms. Macaron already posted on the brilliant new cover art by Ruben Toledo for a few select classic novels however, I could not resist a second post because they are just so amazing (and out today!) I just ordered this edition of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice yesterday. Isn't it completely gorgeous? (And I have to confess, I'm not really a fan of lady Jane :)

And while we're on the subject, if you are interested in book cover art, you might want to check out this sometimes overly critical but nevertheless, pretty cool blog ...Caustic Cover Critic


Ultimate in Blazer Cool

I will never get tired of classic, navy blue blazers...but when they are updated just a bit, like this one from J.Crew...well, I think they are just mesmerizing. Is there anything J.Crew can't do beautifully?!

Ms. Macaron to the rescue!

Help! I am in desperate need of advice on good makeup brushes...there are so many choices and I need the expertise of Ms. Macaron on this one.

Never ... ever ... gets old

Who doesn't remember Chanel's famous Vamp nail polish from the 90's? Well, I don't know about the rest of you but I never stopped loving it. I especially loved the way it was meant to be worn...on short, no-nonsense nails A great look that never went away...as far as I'm concerned.

Small Indulgences

Every couple of weeks I treat myself to a little something special. It's not usually anything too extravagant but it is some little indulgence. This week, I have my treat all planned out. I have always loved mesh jewelry. Don't ask me why. I just love the way it almost imitates fabric. It's not that easy to find good pieces, so when I do, I jump on them. Banana Republic has these fabulous mesh rings in gold and silver (I really want the gold) that are exactly what I have been looking for, for years. I can't wait to head out and get it today!


Out of Service

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just want to crawl under a rock?...better yet get out of town....FAST???!!!! Life has been in-flux lately, but I think I feel better today. So, I'm back!
I've missed you! Thanks for holding down the fort, Ms. KatieP! Love all the posts, btw! I'll be sure to get back to the comments. I did get The Sartorialist book on Wed and boy did it come at a good time! I have really been enjoying the photos. Each time I look, I see something new...and I'm inspired to get more creative about how I dress. Anyway, those are some thoughts swirling around my little head.



The Sartorialist inspires me on so many levels...here's yet another reason. This photo is from the new book, just out this week and below is Scott Schuman's text. So great!

"I was chit-chatting with Susan after I took this picture and mentioned that I thought her hair was sooo beautiful - her best feature.

She said thanks and added that she had lost her hair once because of cancer. She now purposely keeps it long because she feels it is such a gift to have it back and, for her, a sign of life."

-The Sartorialist


Worth Every Penny

Scarves have become a recent passion of mine. I am always on the lookout for the most gorgeous ones and have been doing a fair amount of research on them. Of course, you don't need to to know much, to know that when it comes to scarves, the topic begins and ends with Hermes. The subject came up with my sister recently, and we both agreed that while truly fabulous, they are quite expensive. This led me to wonder what it is about these scarves, other than the obvious, that makes them so valuable. After a little research I stumbled across this description of the process of making an Hermes scarf in Nina Garcia's book The One Hundred. This is a beautifully written description of the process (and frankly, pretty exciting drama) of their creation. Needless to say, I now understand why they cost so much, but also, why they are so amazing.

The Hermes Scarf

'It is just 90 centimeters and 65 grams of silk, yet it takes two years to create a single Hermes scarf. Technically, the process begins in Brazil, where the silk is spun from cocoons woven by larvae of 250 silk moths. As the silk is spinning in Brazil, the designers are briefed on what the theme of the season' collection will be. Then, over fifty artists create designs for the ten scarves to be produced that season. After the many months it takes to create the designs, an engraver will make a silk screen for each different color that will appear on each scarf. If there are thirty different colors in one scarf, he must create thirty different silk screens. Then there is an intensive coloration process, as an entire committee will vote on the shades and tones, before the design is finally sent to the factory where the dirty work begins. There is a dizzying printing process, then a luxurious steam bath to make the scarves unbelievable soft, and then two women painstakingly scrutinize each centimeter of silk for any defect. Last, the squares are cut and seamstresses edge them by hand, before they are shipped off to be snatched up by women all over the world'



I am so nostalgic for this cup and saucer by famed Swedish ceramic designer, Stig Lindberg. I have to verify this with my sister but I am almost certain we had these place settings, growing up. My parents always used to shop in a Scandinavian, furniture store back in the 70's called...what else...Scan. Apparently, the classic Bersa collection (including the above coffee cup and saucer) have been relaunched. They are even making jewelry from the collection now. I must have this adorable brooch. I could not be happier to see this design again.


How did I ever live without this one?

I was pretty late to the tinted moisturizer game, but now that I am on board, I am not sure how I ever did without this product. It's another one of those items that totally proves me wrong in the 'doing 2 things at once' category. Obviously, it is designed to moisturize AND conceal and a good one will do both well. I've tried a couple and have yet to be disappointed but it was Laura Mercier's version that got me completely hooked. It's not cheap but it's worth every penny. It is really all I use (and need) on my face. My skin has barely ever looked better. I have the oil free variety and I can honestly say, I am never, ever , ever going to use anything else.


I might have a problem...

My Sunday afternoon project was tackling the closet in my spare room which has needed attention for months. As I was going through the clothes...some that I wear all the time and some that I haven't worn in years, I came across my pile of J.Crew tank tops. I never realized how many I had...for a minute, I wondered if they were multiplying behind my back, I decided to take a head count...23 was the grand total. I have them in every color, I have them in stripes, I have them with monograms...I just have a bunch. Do I have a problem? Am addicted to J.Crew tank tops? Well, I might have a problem if they weren't so darn useful. In fact, they might be the most useful article of clothing I have in my closet. I wear them spring, summer, winter and fall. I wear them with my best outfits. I wear them to sleep. I can't get enough of them and I stand behind everyone I have purchased and know fully that there are many more in my future :)

Monogram love

Last night I had dinner (at my favorite Mike's Diner) with awesome Adriane. As a gift, she brought me this cool polka-dot pen (in green) with my initial on it. I got so excited because it is so extremely cute but also because I realized how much I love monograms. I would put them on absolutely everything if I could (stopping short of becoming 'Laverne' from Laverne and Shirley). One of my first monogrammed items was my classic LLBean Boat and Tote, which could really have a post all of its own. In the past 10 years, it has been everything from my gym bag to my library bag. It's sturdy and durable, but I really love it, because it is monogrammed.

P.S. Thanks again Adriane!



I just discovered another great style book. Nina Garcia's (of Project Runway fame) '08 book The One Hundred is a cool, alphabetical listing of the 100 things no one should be without. Normally, these lists are pretty boring. They have the same things, over and over...the LBD, Chanel quilted bag, a trench coat. Well, this list has those things...and so much more. Plus (and this is the real reason I love the book) it is illustrated by Ruben Toledo (no photos :) whose fashion drawings are my absolute fave.


Oh...my...gosh...this print by Emily Martin (aka theblackapple) is a must have...for work and home. Love it!

Update: In true Emily Martin style, this print is already sold out. I think I got the last one.


I remember my first 'initial necklace'. It was a Christmas gift from mom & dad...I was probably 12 or 13...the early 80's...the letter 'K', block letter...highlighted in faux diamonds. I wore it everyday. There have been many 'initial' necklaces since and I love them all. This double initial necklace is just the latest version of my long time obsession.

Have a Perfect (beachy) weekend!

Hope eveyone finds their late summer heaven. (Happy vacay on Kiawah Island to Laura & Joe!)


Jenna Lyons

J.Crew has definitely changed over the past few years and I think Jenna Lyons, as creative director of J.Crew, has been a major contributor to their fashion forward vision. Here are two mini articles about what makes her tick! (side note: I love her shoes!)

Living space

Love it!

Happy Weekend!

Hope you have a good weekend! Lovely images are always inspiring!

A 'T' for me...and for Joe

How much do I love this t-shirt? I am a huge fan of the 'I 'heart' NY' logo but I love it even more with a twist. I might have to get one of these for me and one for my brother-in-law, who 'hearts' biking :)

Scent of...a Library

I am thinking Ms. Macaron and I NEED to get this perfume (as bibliophiles with a long record of library employment, aren't we obligated?) It's called 'In the Library' and according to the 'I Hate Perfume' website, it
smells like "a signed first edition of a favorite novel, Russian and Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth and a hint of wood polish." Am I wrong? To me this sounds so appealing and non-perfumey.

Celebrating Julia's Birthday

I'm trying to finalize my menu for tomorrow's celebration and here's what I have so far:
Potage Parmentier (Potato & Leek Soup)
Boeuf Bourguignon
Mousseline au chocolat (Chocolate Mousse)

It's pretty much the old standards, but I think it'll be a tasty combination. I might include a quiche, if I'm feeling especially industrious!
Bon Appetit!

Darling shoes

Lovely shoes courtesy of Boden.


The Picasso of Pastry

This post is done with Ms. Macaron and Laura in mind...my 2 cupcake aficionados. I ask you...have you ever seen anything like these babies?!? They are all the talk in the world of cupcake blogs and I recently indulged in one at the Pittsford Wegmans. What can I say? They are another brilliant creation by
Chef Pierre Hermé, who is widely regarded as France's top pastry chef. Hermé has been called "the Picasso of Pastry" by Vogue magazine's Jeff Steingarten (according to the Wegmans website). Wegmans Patiserre is an authentic French pastry shop. The concept was developed in consultation with Hermé and is a true delight. Do yourself a huge favor and try one of these gems TODAY!

Slowly Caving

I cannot even express how much I love this incredibly affordable Marc Jacobs bag. I am definitely going to cave and buy it!


I swear I'll stop with the Ladurée posts.....but this IS really adorable! They're made of clay, I think....wow! Click here for some mouth watering photos of....what else? macarons!

Ladurée Tokyo, Part II

Some pics I found of Ladurée at Mitsukoshi department store. Ms. Katie, expect a box from moi!

What's your style? Isaac can help!

Books about style...hmmm...for some reason I've never found a great one. Maybe it's because writing about style is a little like writing about the air...you know its there...its just so hard to describe. Recently though, I was at my local public library when I came across Isaac Mizrahi's (yet another fashion crush) '08 book How to Have Style. I have to say, I love this book. Part of it is that I hear him speaking as I read it, but the other part is that he makes so much sense. The book begins by asking the reader to answer a whole series of questions. Normally I would laugh at this...but his questions really get to the heart of who you are and want, style-wise. Some examples...what colors do you wear most frequently...what do you splurge on...what are 5 clothing/fashion items you can't live without? The other idea of his that I love, is having an 'inspiration board'. Get yourself a bulletin board and any time you see an image or just anything that inspires you, tack it up. Isaac's board is pictured above. Not only is it a great way to keep a running record of yourself and what you love, it's almost like a piece of art...so gorgeous to look at.

Spotted: Moleskine art

This is a page taken out of Heather Ross' moleskine when she visited NY. God I wish I was this talented!

Inspiration: plate wall

I've always loved seeing pictures of artist Lisa Congdon's plate wall. She's been featured on many a design blog & I keep thinking to myself I need to do something similar...


The baguette. There's the good kind & there's the not-so-good kind. You know when you've had a good baguette--the crunch crust with the soft inside...even better when it's hot right out of the oven. Paris is famous for its bevy of baguettes and
Poilâne is one of those places to find the best of all things bread. Their croissants are amazingly buttery & flaky too. And don't forget to pick up a linen tote bag w/ the famous Poilâne embroidery. I love this bag so much I just leave it as decoration on my living room stairwell. Visit their Cherche-Midi location & I promise you won't leave disappointed or hungry!

Happy dance in my head!

I am giddy with excitement over the fact that
Ladurée is now in Tokyo!!! You've heard me express how much I LOVE them and now I can add this store to my Tokyo to-do list!!! The macarons are heavenly, of course, but the boxes are equally gorgeous. And what is it about the Japanese & their love of all things French? Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki is a Japanese owned shop that has stores both in Paris & Tokyo. Maybe Ms. Katie might put this on her to-do list?