Quote of the day...

I think this quote just says it all ... I stumbled across it doing research for a friend (you dog owners will understand it 100%).

"Try to be the kind of person your dog thinks you are" -The Alaskan Bowhunter

-Photo of Laura and Zeus by Joe

my new gap cardigan

I bought this shawl cardigan from the Gap yesteday....The picture here doesn't do it justice...This is one of the problems with Gap in general... Their presentation is all wrong...They try to appeal to the masses and I just don't think it can be done well when they try to please everyone. They really should learn more from the J.Crew folks....Now they know how to cater to a few select groups....and they want their customers to fit into their niche.....not the other way around! Anyway, back to this cardigan. It's a good substantial weight & feels more like a sweater coat than a cardigan...and it has the peacoat characteristics w/ the double breasted buttons. I used a 20% coupon that I had from a previous purchase and it made the price just right...otherwise, I don't think I might have bought it at $60. I also bought a black sweater on sale (the price is way lower at the actual store than online), which again looks WAY better in real life than in the website....I haven't bought many things from the Gap because their designs are kind of spotty at best but it's great when I find some nice items....

NOTE: the sizes do run big for the cardigan....I'd suggest going a size down from your usual.

Clean with style

These tea towels are way to gorgeous to clean with...but they are just right for giving the kitchen a lot of color and little kitsch.

Loving my Madewell tote

Sometimes a little retail therapy goes a long way! I went shopping yesterday & had the absolute best time. I even snagged a few good items... I'll post more later....but I wanted to start with my Madewell rope tote. At $6 you can't really beat the price and who couldn't find some use out of an adorable tote bag? I've decided I totally love this store...It's not even for all the clothing really....It's the whole brand image. The store I go to isn't even that big...It's basically a railroad car type layout, but jammed packed with cute displays and shots of great items here & there. I did find two coats that I basically gasped over. It's one of those collaborations that J.Crew does with various companies....I can't even recall the name but I loved the two coats. One of them was a navy car coat (which made me think of our lovely camel colored J.Crew car coat..you know the one, Katie!)....The cut, fabric....it was all done right! I didn't even check out the price, but that just means I'll have to go back later to check it out again---that's how much I liked looking at it.
I even snagged a great saffron colored fringed scarf.....What I loved most (besides my tote!) were the cute Sept. newsletter (in great graphics) giveaway and the Madewell shopping bag! You know you're hooked when you even love the shopping bag they give you!
PS: I picked up a newsletter for you too, Katie...just cause it was so darn cute... I'll need to pick one up for Oct.

Sofia...in potrait

What better way to start the day, than with a portrait of Sofia (by Lisel Jane Ashlock).


This REALLY is the perfect bag

I know I've said it before but I think this bag is the one...the perfect bag. A duffle from the Gap, this could not be better looking or make more sense if it tried! There is no way I will be able to resist this one.


Yummy blog

Hungry? Check out the blog Scanwiches ... scans of cross-sections of fabulous sandwiches. Amazing idea...yummiest looking sanwiches ever!

Want a great cup of jo?

This is a fabulous idea for which I wish I could take full credit. I actually can't remember exactly who came up with this gem...only that I read it in Harper's Bazaar a few months ago. If you aren't really into black coffee like me, but you don't like the overly sweet, sticky sweetners on the market, try adding Starbucks bottled Frappuccino drink to your coffee. It has the perfect blend of milk and sweetner and is a lovely consistency for a delicious cup.

The definitive pea coat

I have been searching for the perfect pea coat for about 4 years now. I've definitely owned a few decent ones, but never one that I consider perfect. My pea coats on the past have either been too short, too bulky or not quite the right color. This year, I have finally found a pea coat that might just be perfect in every way. This pea coat by Lands End (I want it in either black or charcoal gray) is cut perfectly, not too bulky and the perfect length. So excited to start wearing my find of the season.


Nutella Croissants

Nutella + Pillsbury Crescent Roll = Total genius

This deliciousness courtesy of T Spoon of Sunshine

The always intriguing White Album

Last night, my amazing friend Adriane (who is WAY too interesting not to have a blog of her own, by the way) tipped me off to this awesome tidbit. You may have noticed that there are a ton of new Beatles items on the market. Well, apparently, there is also a line of puzzles, picturing Beatles album covers. This is pretty neat considering how memorable each and every Beatles album cover is (they revolutionized cover art, among many other things). It was however, the puzzle version of the infamous White Album that really had us both intrigued, for obvious reasons :) I may have to revisit this beloved pastime of my youth, and pick up this, oh so cool puzzle.

Reviewing Anna/Meeting Grace

After much talk and speculation, I finally had a chance to see The September Issue last night. Documentaries are a lot like biographies to me...I hardly ever see one I don't like on some level because, inevitably you pick up some new information. I will watch one on any subject just based on the idea that you always learn something new. This film was right up my alley though and in a lot of ways it did not disappoint. I don't know if I learned anything new about Anna Wintour. I already knew that she wasn't exactly warm and fuzzy...that has never bothered me. She's a brilliant woman and the final say in a billion dollar industry. If she isn't giving hugs and kisses every moment, I figure it's just because she's damn busy. I did find her personable in this film...certainly intimidating but not in that silly 'Devil Wears Prada' way. She's not mean and unreasonable...she is just meticulous when it comes to her magazine. I definitely did learn something about Grace Coddington, the Creative Director of American Vogue. She (like Anna) is a former model (see the film just for the gorgeous pictures of her) and someone who is clearly the best in her field. In spite of the fact that they don't always agree, Anna refers to her as a genius and as you watch her vision for fashion and the shoots she oversees unfold, you will see her brilliance.

Even after seeing this 'fly-on-the-wall' doc., I feel much distance from the subject...but it is still a whole sight better than knowing nothing at all. Love to know what you think Ms. M and Laura!


decoratvie wraps

I have been in love with decorative wrapping paper for years...and I have a collection all safely rolled up to prove it! Many times, my grand scheme is to frame them up, but in all honesty I have so many now I don't know where I would hang all of the sheets of paper. I love the Cavallini wraps and this one is of Paris postcards..... Usually PaperSource and Kate's Paperie have good selections.

Paris, a movie

There is a new movie that's come out today called Paris, starring Juliette Binoche & Romain Duris. It's about a man who re-connects w/ Paris & his family while waiting for a heart transplant. In recent years I have come to appreciate Ms. Binoche's films. There's something quite genuine in her face and demeanor. She's not one of those Hollywood actresses who must retain their youth--at any cost (botox anyone?)...She ages beautifully and her films keep getting better.

One of the happiest sights in the world

This post is for you Ms. M! If you were to ask me one of my favorite moments in life, I would have to include driving down to Florida and passing this sign. When we were kids, making our annual pilgrimage to Miami, for our 3 week vacations in August, my father would salute this sign as we crossed the border into our favorite state. It was pure joy...the sky was a little brighter...the air a little warmer...and the fun about to begin.

Just remember Ms. M...Key Largo is always there when you want to take a trip down to the loveliest state of all.

candy corn

Since we're nearing October, aka candy season, I am loving the Halloween candy selections...Target's already started the festivities with their adorable party collections and this past week I pick up the most adorable plastic candy corn cup. I also couldn't resist getting some stickers. What I love most are the candy corns & candy corn pumpkins (and all the different flavors)....

Pumpkin Time!

This weekend, I am making my friend join me for Sunday brunch and a trip to the local pumpkin patch (hey, if I have to spend the morning putting up tree stands for hunting season...he can help me pick out pumpkins!). We are often 2 partners in crime...like these mischievous pumpkins by Stellalola.

(And if you really want to laugh, check a couple other prints by this Etsy artist, including 'The Truth about Florida Oranges'
and 'Can Can Yams' )

cheery & cozy sweater for a rainy Friday...

Happy Friday everyone! It's a bit of a dreary day here, but I kind of like this sort of weather anyway....This lovely J.Crew sweater would be a perfect match on a day like this.....

First weekend of my favorite season

I kind of love all the seasons for different reasons, but in my mind, nothing beats fall. I love a walk or better yet, a run, on a cool, crisp and clear day. Fall clothes are my absolute favorite...warm cozy sweaters, tailored jackets (not the bear-like parkas that will be necessary in a month or so), snazzy scarves worn to jazz up an outfit (all style...only a little function). Fall makes me think of Halloween...just around the corner...a holiday I could not wait for when I was a kid.

I hope everyone has gorgeous weather on this first weekend of fall...just like Laura and Zeus in this picture taken in their hometown of Pittsburgh.

Paperdoll fun

These paperdolls from The Paper Source look like so much fun to assemble. I am thinking they might be great little decorations for packages or kind of cool to add to the inspiration board.


2010 around the corner?

2010 Kate Spade calendar is already up for sale! Where did 2009 go? It does look adorable...I feel I already have too many calendars....but hey! who couldn't use another one, right?

R Nichols

I love everything about R Nichols drawings (I've been using his Christmas cards for YEARS!) but I am really crazy about this Eiffel Tower tote bag and new print.

I heart coffee

I just had my mid-day cup of coffee (my favorite 'Organic' blend that I grind and buy at Wegmans...brew in the office...dark roast...yummy). Since Ms. M posted on Gemma Correll today and I am feeling particularly in love with a good cup of the brew, I thought I would put up this post which celebrates both. And if you are looking for help in getting the perfect cup, try out this advice from the National Coffee Association.

A vote for flats

In the past, I slowly accepted that flats and below-the-knee length skirts are kind of a fashion no-no...until now. Have you noticed how Carla Bruni (ex-model, current first lady of France) is always wearing this look? I totally understand that it can look kind of dowdy but I really think she is doing wonders for this combination (and it helps that she couldn't look dowdy if she tried). Of course, her unwillingness to wear heels might have something to do with the fact that she is taller than Nicolas Sarkozy...but she is certainly making me feel brave enough to try a look I have secretly always liked.

sugar packets

I love the thin sugar packets you find in Europe...They make me happy. I always make a point of shopping at the local grocery stores & stock up on these little sweet packets!

Broken English

It took me forever to actually watch Broken English, which came out in '07, and is directed by Sofia's good friend Zoe Cassavetes. It stars Parker Posey as a very neurotic New Yorker who has bad luck w/ men, but finally meets someone worthwhile & takes a chance on happiness ( with a very good looking Parisian no less!). I really enjoyed it....check it out if you haven't yet....

Rhodia Love

Moleskines are a relatively new love for me, but I've had an obsession with Rhodia for years...I have them in many different sizes & shapes and now I've learned that designer Paul Smith has brought out his own limited edition Rhodia pads. How genius!

Mademoiselle Chanel

What a fabulous photo of Coco Chanel. There's a great article in the NY Times Style section about Ms. C. & the new bio pic opens in limited release this weekend. Can't wait til it comes to D.C.!

Forgotten Favorite

Once upon a time, I was really into embroidery. But then, along came knitting, sewing, needlepoint and a dozen other crafts I wanted to try. I just spotted this amazing combo of embroidery and applique on poppytalk and I'm thinking I might pick up the old hoop once again...or maybe just make a purchase from this beautiful Etsy shop.



I know I've posted on Gemma Correll before, but I have to mention again how much I love her drawings....Simply adorable!


What a brilliant flickr site: What I Wore Today. It's a site where you submit (in drawing!) what you are wearing that day.....I love it! Wish I could draw... Maybe I'll attempt this because I'm inspired...

Another favorite store...another happy dance!

I have no idea how I missed this bit of wonderful information but apparently, ground has been broken for a new LLBean store in Victor (near Eastview Mall) in the Summer of 2010. I am beside myself with joy! I'm such a fan of the practical, outdoorsy, totally affordable classic American store. Even though they are a pleasure to order from, who doesn't love having the option of popping into one of their stores and looking around. I don't think I will be albe to hold out on buying their Fitness Fleece hoodie in 'Deepest Violet' and the Thinsulate Fitness Vest in 'Purple Night'. Love the layered look and the gorgeous colors.

Yippee for LLBean!!

Jenna's Picks

The arrival of a new J.Crew catalog is a highly anticipated event for me but something that makes it even more exciting is the 'Jenna's Picks' section. Each catalog, J.Crew Creative Director Jenna Lyons picks a few of her favorite essentials from the collection. I have to admit, she usually picks things that really stand out for me also. Say what you will about the direction she's taken the company, the woman has taste to burn.

And while we are on the subject, check out this blog dedicated to the J.Crew obsessed.


Good Luck

I could not resist posting this photo by Joe...brilliant as usual. I love ladybugs...and truly believe they do bring good luck. Sending all a little luck...where ever you may need it :)

Let the countdown begin!

I love Christmas. I know everyone loves the holidays on some level but I super love them and once I saw these totally adorable gift tags (available as a free download on the black apple site), I started counting the days until Xmas.

Madge Was Supposed to Have Met Shirley at Bloomingdales...

I am crazy about these prints by Vivienne Strauss. Her figures always seem to be a bit quirky... like if I was dropped into one of her paintings, I would feel right at home with this group of ladies. Plus...the titles of her work are about the best I have ever encountered.

Loving these Paris cards....

Oh! I'm so getting these...esp love the "ooh la la"... wonder why??!!!

couldn't have said it better myself...

Love this. Simple....yet so poignant.

Slip into these

Several years ago, a dear student worker of mine, brought me a pair of these Chinese slippers. She wore them all the time and I always loved them...simple, clean and cute. She picked them up for me in her home town (the Bronx in NYC) for 10 bucks on a street corner (oh the joys of NYC!!). I totally adored them and wore them to death. I put them aside and after about 3 years, just rediscovered them this week. I always seem to pull them out of retirement when I have to spend a lot of time on my feet at work because, even thought they don't have tons of support, I think they are the most comfortable little shoes around. With my renewed fascination for them I am on a mission to find them in lots of colors. I forgot how versatile they can be...I've already worn them with everything from jeans to skirts to dresses.

Tsukimi burger

The literal translation is "Moon Viewing Burger" & it's brought to Japanese McDonald's menus each autumn. It's a burger w/ a fried egg, but it's not really the burger I'm interested in....but more so the packaging. How cute are those bunnies flying up to the moon? I do have a thing about trying McDonald's fries when I'm abroad (can't break a habit I started at 21yrs of age!) and I'm just curious to see how incredibly tidy a Japanese McDonald's can be.