Summer 2013: Instagram-ified


1L. Kicked off summer with a cheese & rosé tasting at the Houston Dairymaids 1R. …followed by adult s’mores (and some hookah) with friend Britney @ Saint Genevieve’s (apparently John Mayer was spotted here later this summer).

2L. Attended my cousin’s graduation from UPenn, where we were seated approximately 6 rows behind Denzel Washington (his son was graduating with my cousin). Super respectful and beautiful looking man (yes, I heard firsthand stories) – I later had a quick, unobstructed view from about 10 feet away when he was helping his mother into their awaiting car. 2R. Interesting piggy bank in my cousin’s apartment.

3L. My mother returned from France bearing gifts. Macarons from Fauchon 3R. And a sparkly necklace from a boutique I’d never heard of – Libellule & Cabochon.

4L. My favorite rosé at my favorite restaurant: Pinot Noir, “Bourgogne Rosé,” Frederic Magnien, 2011, Burgundy, France. 4R. Bingo in the Heights. The place to be on Thursday night (I’m totally serious. $5 pitchers, and you can bring pretty much everything else. You have to get there 1.5 hours ahead of time, or you will not get in).

5L. I love this ring. It is a Russian, handpainted ring that I bought in Paris when I was about 8 years old. I suddenly got a major urge to find this misplaced ring a few months back – and happily found it at the bottom of one of my jewelry bags. Unfortunately, even though I cleaned it – it has some dents and dings as a result of my carelessness. And because I have child-sized hands, it still fits. 5R. Florals for Fall, Spring, Summer. One Saturday, I took myself on a date. I started by spoiling myself at Sephora and then looked at beautiful shoes & dresses, including the stunning above Valentino # I’d been drooling over since last Fall. Imagine my surprise when I saw it, in person, at Neiman Marcus in all of its full priced $25K glory.

6L. Following the shopping, I treated myself to my favorite restaurant – Provisions (yummy shrimp salad with apples & celery. Apparently not in season so not on their menu at the moment). 6R. …Where I made friends with the waiter. He convinced me to get the dessert above (Yuzu Sherbet/Beet Cake/Panna Cotta/Juniper). It is amazing, and it is life changing. But, because I was so curious about the nutella soft serve – he brought that to me too, on him. So glad that one was free ;) .
(After dinner, I went to see the absolutely beautiful Before Midnight. Richard Linklater + Ethan Hawke + Julie Delpy = Genius)

7L. Crazy ridiculousness from Jus Mac. I recently switch into a new role/group at work, and apparently this sounded like a good idea to my boss and his coworker friends. As I was training with him, I got to go along for the ride / calories. 7R. 4th of July fireworks. I had actually gotten 2 different invites. I had an amazing night, but apparently I missed out on meeting my own Harvard Hottie in exchange for these fireworks ;) (C’est la vie!)

8L. Lots of trips to my favorite (and atypical) grocery store – Central market. Hoping to pick up this bottle of bubbly to celebrate something in the near future. Maybe I’ll just save it for my birthday! 8R. Lots of yummy & fancy dinners this summer (just wait). This was a very memorable, delicious, and actually healthy dish – chilled spinach and asparagus soup @ Etoile Cuisine. This iteration had zero cream and was amazing. Got to enjoy it with my parents, and one of their random new friends – George Mitchell’s neice.

9L. Reconnected with several of my closest high school friends (most of them moved back to town). This is from when we went to the bridal extravaganza (2 of them are brides to be). So. Much. Cake. For us Singletons, there were some pretty potent mimosas. Not pictured: The amazingness that is Bombay Pizza. If I could, I would ingest that stuff intravenously. Oh and also missing – the pub crawl that we temporarily joined. I have now found where all of the young people are on Saturday afternoons. 9R. The evening after the bridal extravaganza, I returned home to find my sister and her brood were there. Her second born has some pretty lofty & unrealistic expectations of me.

10L. Another weekend outing with friends. Central market trip, my first ever visit to The Menil (so many missed instagram opportunities), late lunch @ Niko Niko’s (where previously, all my visits there had been mediocre, bordering on awkward first dates), and then a trip to the Magick Cauldron. A) Dr. Polansky’s approved Chastity Belt. 10R. …and “Essence of Little Girl.” I know that I asked (out loud) if I was holding some poor little girl’s soul (there was also essence of little boy there). Apparently I was on fire that day, because I was out having drinks last night with my friend Whitney and she was cracking up at the memory of it all (not pictured: healing stones; dragonsblood soap; and a very defensive, easily upset, & offended sales person {magick-ian??}. Oops).

11L. Rediscovering the wonderful world of Urban Decay Palettes. Pictured: Alice in Wonderland palette. 11R. More…adventures. My friend Becky invited Whitney and I over for some wine, snacks, and card games. We started with the tarot reading and never made it past that. In the middle of Whitney’s tarot reading – Becky tossed this one at me (without looking at it. And Whitney had shuffled the deck). She said that she had the feeling that this one was for me. What does it represent? Per her deck/book – defensiveness. I believe that it was eerie for her because of, duh, my behavior at the Magick Cauldron. In reality, this card was really hitting on a lot of things going on in my life and it freaked me out.

12L. Cheese & honey tasting (where I discovered super delicious cinnamon whipped honey). 12R. Had a wonderful night out with Becky. Italian food + Irish coffee + uncensored & easily flowing conversation (oh how I’ve missed this) before we went to see The Hollow @ the Alley Theatre. Snapped this photo of the absolutely gorgeous set before the show started. Their version did not feature Poirot, but this is one of my favorite Poirot mysteries

13L. First wine + painting class ever with friends. @ Pinot’s Palette. 13R. My masterpiece. I’m no Van Gogh – but I was proud.

14L. Random badges @ PH Design Shop (one of my quirky favorites). 14R. Roost tumbler glasses purchased from PH Design Shop. They are opalescent and gorgeous. (not pictured: The amazing nutella hot chocolate that Becky and I had next door at Sweet Paris. Come on…I couldn’t have gone that many photos without a food mention).

15L. While shopping for Italian guide books with Britney in preparation for her trip, I found this aesthetically pleasing one for my next trip to Paris. 15R. Another wine + painting class with FRIENDS! Jenn, Nikki, Whitney, Becky & me. Full disclosure: I look haggard. Work + a huge influx in my social life (which I am so, so thankful for) has taken its toll on me. (Not pictured: the very hectic workday, 45 minute detour to pick up Nikki, 45 minute drive down to Central Market, then mad dash to Bombay Pizza, then 45 minute drive back to the burbs that occurred before our 2 hour painting class. Most of it in rush hour traffic, thankyouverymuch). Also, I tried to be creative because I wanted purple flowers. Not too happy with my orange :/

16L. Oh boy. So…Houston does this amazing thing called Houston Restaurant Weeks (it used to just be a single week) where all of the amazing restaurants in town (and in the burbs) put together special 2-3 course $20 lunch menus and 3 course $35-45 dinner menus. Part of the proceeds go to Houston food bank. Friends and I decided to take advantage and go to Brennan’s. If you ever come to Houston during restaurant weeks, you NEED to go to Brennan’s. Why? Because a) the food is amazing. B) Their (very generous) $35 3 course menu is actually worth about $130 during normal times. Pictured above is the very pretty and tasty salmon. 16R. So, in addition to my usual friends, along came one of their friends – a very sweet girl, whose boyfriend happens to be a waiter at Brennan’s. So, as I was recording our awesome waiter making our Bananas Foster:

IMG_3607
…We got dessert bombed. What’s that you ask? Why, the waiters (I believe, per the instructions of her boyfriend) brought us out every. Single. Dessert. On. The. Menu. In addition to the desserts we actually ordered.

17L. All of the desserts. 17R. All of them!

18L. Becky ended up buying me my own tarot deck. And some kind of rainbow hematite that apparently “grounds” me. Because I had a hard time picking one out. Once the stone was in my hand (I know I’m skeptical and tease this stuff, but honest to god, when she dropped it in my hand – …an odd feeling came over me), this deck (and another deck) stuck out to me. It was odd, because previously this one hadn’t previously stuck out to me, but it ended up being perfectly suited for me. It is a very artistic deck that features a style of art I like, it has pretty gold gilt edges (IT IS SHINY, PEOPLE!), the backs are nondescript (…which is because “reversals” seem to matter to me and my readings, so it is good that I can’t tell when the cards are face down if they are right side up or not), and even though the box is small – it came with a very comprehensive book. And look…we tried it, and the readings were eerie. 18R. Of course, more macarons. Birthday Tea from Mariages Freres + macarons from Bite Macarons, a recent find. These are pretty pricey, but they are very good. With very authentically French flavors.

19L. Date night from last weekend. Started with yummy & unique drinks @ OKRA Charity Saloon (must come back here). 19R. …Followed by dinner @ Oxheart. This place was recently rated one of the best restaurants in the country, and was already very difficult to get into. I had to reserve about 2 months in advance, and I got the last reservation available at 9pm.

20L. Let the games begin! 20R. Menu. We each did the tasting menu. The courses were tiny, but very filling. Yes…I took photos of each course. No…I won’t bore you further.

21L. Another date night – trivia! Even though we sat out an entire round, we didn’t place last (We were Titanic Swim Team). 21R. I suppose this is my own way to “end” summer (let’s be realistic. I am super excited for Fall, but if we get a Fall, it won’t be here until mid-late October at the earliest lol). Even though I avoided them all summer (clearly, I was more than making up for it in other ways), I had a tall mocha cookie crumble Frappuccino for breakfast yesterday, before they’re gone next week!

 

I have to say – this summer, while being a very transformative one with some very significant lows and disappointments for me personally, has still been one of the best summers for me in recent memory. Despite losing some friends that I had previously been very close to, I’ve been so so fortunate to make new friends as well as reconnect with old ones.

Summer 2013 from laurenesque on 8tracks Radio.

And lastly – I leave you with a mix. Some new tracks, that i’m sure are familiar (and perhaps annoying at this point) to everyone, as well as some oldies but goodies :)

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Black, White, & POP!

Mixed Stripe

Alright, I admit – I am a terrible blogger. Well, at least…a very inconsistent blogger. But there is a trend this Spring that has me inspired enough to post! Black and white mixed with a pop…of something. The above look features a BCBG mixed stripe top that I’ve practically been living in for the past month (well, as much as I can get away with it). Despite the old adage that horizontal stripes widen – I just don’t find it to be true. I love me some stripes. And some pattern mixing. This is a subtle way to incorporate both, and the contrasting stripes with the central, darker placket creates it’s own slimming effect. Plus, it has a hi-lo hemline that is long enough in the front AND camouflages my large derriere. *And* it is available from Lord & Taylor right now, which is currently offering 20%.

I’ve worn it with slacks, I’ve worn it with jeans, but my favorite thing to wear it with is a pair of BCBG leggings that I picked up at their outlet a couple of years ago – they’re thicker, and have more of a straight leg than a tapered leg and are super comfy. I don’t believe that the above pair is the exact pair, but they look to be fairly close. I actually don’t own alot of items from BCBG, but the 4-5 pieces that I do own (that, erm, still fit) – I love!

In the above set, I’m pairing it with a black leather bag (I’ve kind of had the Chloe Marcie Satchel on my mind for a while now) and a ridiculously gorgeous, but pricey black leather jacket by Kelly Wearstler (I did find a stray one on sale at my local Neimans, but it wasn’t my size), as I know it is still nippy (if not downright cold) in most parts of the country. There are plenty of lower priced alternatives, including this one from ASOS, a similar one from Zara, a more feminine one from Zara, and this faux moto jacket from Urban.

That leaves…the pop. As this is a more casual outfit, why not go all out with some neon yellow heels (and that bright Essie blue)? Pink or Red could be fun (and more versatile) too.

Black & White Spring



Zara dress / DV by Dolce Vita flat shoes / T-strap shoes / Rebecca Minkoff satchel (on sale at Zappos for $298.00) / FOSSIL silicon watch / J.Crew j crew jewelry / Forever 21

Winter Black & White



Zara dress / Zara zip jacket / Enzo Angiolini low heels / Golden Goose leather boots / Diane von Furstenberg leather clutch / Stone necklace / BaubleBar metal cuff bracelet

Just a couple of other casual options. The first, being more Spring-like with some accessories in varying coral tones. The second is a cold weather option, but still bringing in the Spring hues (and flowers). J Crew (and J Crew Factory) really has the market cornered on colorful statement necklaces, but Forever 21 has some great and more reasonably priced alternatives. I’ve also really become a fan of some accessory “auction” pages on Facebook. There are several that offer J Crew like jewelry (and, my favorite – Michael Kors style watches).

Of course this whole black/white/pop has stretched into my work wardrobe, as well.

Waist Cinching Stripe


This look is a great transition one. I could wear these pieces to the office, as well as for a night out or on the weekend. The above dress (yes, again with the stripes. But these have a wonderful slimming effect) is from Bebe, and is sold out. However, Club Monaco has a similar dress, as does Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Black, white & gold



Petite top / Shell top / Petite jacket / Ponte skirt / J.Crew high heel shoes / Jérôme Dreyfuss cross body handbag / MICHAEL Michael Kors bracelet watch

…And the pop doesn’t have to be a bright color, but I think that gold provides a nice and more subtle “pop,” as well.

Black & White Floral



Zara peplum top / Pencil skirt / Pencil skirt / Rebecca Minkoff handbag / J.Crew j crew / J.Crew j crew / BaubleBar jewelry / ASOS

…And “black and white” doesn’t have to be a stripe! Also – full disclosure, this set is totally inspired by one of Atlantic-Pacific’s lovely outfits! I did not really buy into the peplum trend, but the one peplum top I have purchased is the Zara jacquard top that A-P is wearing in this outfit, so it is kind of ingrained in my mind ☺.

Bright



Zara two tone dress / Alice + Olivia / Brightblock Shift / Vic Matié wide shoes / Alice + Olivia striped shoes / Oryany leather tote / Zara shopping tote bag / La Mer

…And of course – the black and white doesn’t have to be the main focus of the outfit! There are of course so many lovely bright dresses this season (love this hot pink Kate Spade floral number), and some great black and white accessories.

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If Only I’d Resolved to Floss Everyday…

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that everyone had an enjoyable New Year’s Eve, and that no one is paying the price too hard today ;) . We had some pretty lousy weather, so I was content to stay in my part of town and go out to a fancy dinner with my parents (though there have been way, way, WAY too many fancy dinners lately).

 

 

Full outfit & details:

New Year's Eve 2012

Jacket: Zara // Dress: Valentino, Similar here, here, & here // Handbag: Chanel, Clutch from similar material available from Stuart WeitzmanAmerican Apparel // Necklace: Macy’s (a set) // Ring: HSN // Shoes: Chie Mihara Atame // Nailpolish: OPI’s Mad Hatter & Deborah Lippmann’s Today Was a Fairytale

Like I’m sure everyone has, I spent alot of time the past few weeks reflecting on the past year, as well my hopes for the new year. Of course it is just a natural point in time for renewal, or a new beginning…and I always start out so hopeful. I really, really failed with my resolution for 2012 – to declutter my life. I felt like it encompassed so many important aspects of my life that needed attention, and instead I regressed and behaved pretty badly. For 2013, I have some personal goals regarding my health and career that I hope to meet. In addition, I really would like to visit one new place this year. In 2011, I’d traveled to San Francisco and Miami. In 2012, I *did* new locales in cities I was familiar with, but it isn’t quite the same as a brand new adventure. But my main goal is to become fiscally responsible. I’ve never had to be before, and I feel that this is the most important thing that I need to learn now and for the rest of my life!

Does anyone have any resolutions for this coming year, or even anything to share regarding how they’ve achieved previous resolutions? I could definitely use all of the advice & inspiration that I can get :) .

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Festivities

Merry Christmas to everyone that celebrates it! I hope that everyone has been having a very enjoyable holiday season, as I have been. I am currently enjoying some much needed vacation time, and prior to that, enjoyed some nice holiday festivities.

At work, we had a potluck for my department & White Elephant game. I made the most amazing mac and cheese – a recipe from Modernist Cuisine, that was given to me by one of my sister’s friends whom had come for Thanksgiving. As it was my first time making it, I felt that it was a bit on the salty side, and it may not have been quite warm enough…still, it was completely gone by the end of the lunch. Then, for the White Elephant portion…well, we were told that the theme was “As Seen On TV.” So, searching Amazon told me that this Potty Putter was one of those products, so I quickly ordered it. After hearing what others were bringing, I became a bit concerned…and reasoned that there was no way this was an “As Seen on TV” product. Thankfully, it received huge rounds of laughter, but of course, no one wanted it. (Except after the game was over, I found out that someone had asked the “winner” for it, and he gladly gave it to her).

I did buy some small gifts for my boss, colleague, and our assistant. They each got a Homegrown Monogram Mug from Anthropologie, with a Reese’s peanut butter Christmas tree & a chocolate filled candy cane.

Last weekend, I had a wonderful get together with my dearest friends from high school. This is pretty much the only time of year that all 7 of us can get together. It is just an opportunity for us to laugh, and gossip, and eat, and drink! And this year was just that much more special, because we got to meet our friend Kristi’s twin baby girls…

They are certainly teeny, and so so cute (and not too badly behaved, either)!

While we are normally pretty good at taking photos, we didn’t snap any of each other this year. Still, I wanted to put together a polyvore set of my outfit, because I felt fairly stylish…

Christmas with Friends

…Clearly I took advantage of J. Crew’s recent promotions!

Christmas Day was a bit more low-key than it normally is for us…at least, as far as preparation. There were a few less decorations, a few less courses, and definitely not as many baked goods. To go along with my mom’s usual pork roast & green beans, I made that amazing macaroni and cheese again. I was able to tweak the recipe this time, and it was not too salty and even more flavorful (and the right temperature). For dessert, my mother made a sponge cake with berry coulis (she used to make a traditional French yulelog, but we decided about 5 years ago that it was just far too rich for us). On the side, I made some peppermint mocha French macarons.

They were very yummy, though probably not the most ideal for my very hyperactive 7 year old niece, as she ate 6 ;) .

I was very, very spoiled this year for Christmas (as I always am).

From my sisters, I received my favorite French movie, La Grande Vadrouille & that Anna Sui Hairbrush – aka “the princess brush.” It is, in fact, spectacular & very princessy. I also received the frame pictured above and a heart shaped blue teacup and saucer (not pictured because I had temporarily misplaced it, but it is the same as this one) from one of my sisters.

I usually get one large gift from my parents, and had a very hard time deciding on what to ask for until the day that Anthropologie decided to mark down their Nathalie Lete plates for a day. I chose an assortment, and they are currently wrapped and sitting in storage with the exception of the one photographed above. My mother also gifted my sisters and I a blingy, drusy & hematite ring, as well as a necklace that is not pictured because I have not seen it yet. My mother has temporarily misplaced them :x . My father was also feeling generous, and gifted me a visa gift card, tucked into a humorous card (I very much want a dog, but currently have 2 misbehaving cats who enjoy marking their territory. Hence the card).

And last, but not least…I received a very, very beautiful & thoughtful gift of a pearl pendant & earrings my gentleman friend.

Unfortunately, I never pierced my ears (which, he knows), but these always seems to come in sets (plus he figured that this might be a nice way to nudge me). He and I have been through quite a bit together over the past several years, and even though I had suggested a SMALL gift exchange, he wanted to give me this beautiful gift. and the pendant made a lovely compliment to my outfit for the day (though the one in the set is a similar one to the one that I received).

 

Christmas Day 2012

And the reason that I had suggested a small gift exchange was because he had bought tickets for us to see a live Nutcracker performance.

We really made an occasion out of it, and started with a late afternoon trip to the art museum (I’m telling you, he is a trooper), followed by a fancy dinner, and then the show. Of course, one of the best parts is for both of us dressing up. He is very much unlike me in this way, and has a much more laid back style (my gift to him included a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-Shirt for Pete’s sake), so this was an extra treat for me.

(And all bundled up…)

The scarf was a gift from his parents. Of course, not being the photographer, I didn’t get to dictate capturing outfit details, so hey…another polyvore set!

 

Nutcracker Ballet

Of course, I was absolutely tickled when he kept telling me throughout the night how much he liked my handbag & that he thought it was “cool looking.” That makes me feel a little better about my bad life choice of 2011!

The entire evening was wonderful. The museum was nice, though a bit rushed. The dinner was fantastic and far, far too rich for me, but that may be because I chose foods that I knew he liked / thought he would like! And then the performance was really great as well. I was worried that he would be bored to tears by the whole thing, but he seemed to enjoy himself throughout. The music was lovely, but I was certainly entranced by the sets and costumes. I was also extremely impressed by the male dancers. As a young girl, you always ooooh and ahhhh over the spinning Sugarplum Fairy & Snow Queen, but as an adult, I certainly have a greater appreciation for the work & help that the male dancers provide them!

Last, but not least, we spent a day with my sister and her family and friends.

And since I’ve gone all Polyvore happy already, here is what I wore for the occasion:

 

Ice Skating

We started off grabbing lunch in time, at Star Pizza, which is in an older, cramped house in town. We’d been there once before and the pizza had been awesome. However, after the previous night’s dinner, I opted for a salad with grilled chicken.

After lunch, we headed over to Discovery Green, where the men and kids exerted lots of energy on the playground.

And then, we tried out the ice skating. Well really…that should be a loose term. There was definitely some ice skating going on, but my sister and I, simply because of genetics, lack the grace and balance required for such things. I have to applaud her though, because she was actually brave enough to let go of the side rail a little bit. Me…not so much lol. One of my poor sweet nephews fell like, 20 times…but he got right back up and kept on going.

But my niece (in the pink pants) showed the rest of us up!:

Even my gentleman friend who played ice hockey as a child ate it on the ice. Actually, he ate it while “showing me what to do.” :x

After ice skating, we had some hot chocolate, then he and I went for a walk around Restoration Hardware before grabbing dinner at an Italian restaurant that has the most amazing gnocchi ever. And finally, we decided to drive the 45 minutes south of downtown (so over an hour away from my house) to go to my sister’s to play some foosball and some poker. It’s only fair after subjecting him to some Spanish art & ballet!

I hope that everyone has enjoyed an equally wonderful holiday, and hopefully some much needed time off :) .

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Dear Santa…

While I am a total clothing whore the rest of the year, I tend to have other things on my mind at Christmastime. I actually had a really difficult time this year coming up with gift ideas – for myself, as well as for others. Below are the items I finally settled upon for myself.


1.Haushund Wool Slippers & Katze Wool Slippers, both from Anthropologie, $78.00 each. Slippers are an often recommended gift idea, but these are just so *cute!* I’m a cat owner and lover, but lately I’ve been very much wanting a dog. Unfortunately, these slippers may be the closest I can get to having one for a while
 

2. La Grande Vadrouille ($24.00 for the DVD) & Le Cercle Roug ($21.00 for the DVD). So. I love old movies. And I love old French movies. La Grande Vadrouille is a classic French comedy…specifically a World War 2 comedy (I know, it sounds like some kind of oxymoron, but it works), featuring 2 of the greatest French comedic actors of all time – Bourvil & Louis des Funes. I first saw this movie when I was about 7, and was visiting my grandparents, and have loved it ever since. Apparently, until Titanic was released, it was the highest grossing movie in France to date. Le Cercle Rouge also stars Bourvil, but it s a drama…well, a crime movie revolving around a jewel heist. I’ve only seen this once (again, at my grandparents’), but remember being absolutely entranced. Plus, this one is special enough to have gotten the Criterion treatment.
3. Building Stories by Chris Ware (approximately $31.00…where available). I saw this book on a list of best books of 2012, and in reading the description, this was the one that intrigued me the most. This isn’t a single book, so much as a collection of reading materials that intermingles the stories of tenants of a Chicago Brownstone.
4. Rouge Noir nailpolish by Chanel ($26.00) & HOURGLASS Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in blue red ($28.00). If there is one thing I love almost as much as clothes, it is makeup. These deep red shades are classic colors, but are especially in style this time of year. I own a shitton of nail polish (including many, many bottles of Chanel), and this is one color I’d love to get my hands on. I’m always on the hunt for a good red lip color. With my coloring, only blue based reds work for me (otherwise, my lips look positively orange). I like the hourglass formula, so I’m hoping that this one is a winner.
5. Anna Sui Hairbrush from Urban Outfitters, $38.00. I never realized how difficult it would be to find a good hairbrush. The one I currently use is a supercheap one that I inherited from my sister ages ago, and I am embarrassed to admit just how old that one is. I’ve been trying to find a good hairbrush for years, and I have yet to find one with similar bristles to that one. Hopefully this one is as functional as it is pretty!
6. Vince Camuto “Bollo” Over the Knee boots, $166.00 from Nordstrom. Thanks to a stint of working retail at our favorite store a few years ago, I own some positively beautiful leather boots (that were purchased at an amazing discount). Still, a few years have passed since I last bought a pair of boots, and I’m really liking the over the knee style that is popular this season (and also last season). I don’t own any black boots, but I think I prefer these in the brown. Either way, these look like they’d be very comfortable and versatile.
7. Une Petite Tassed de Caffe Espresso Cup & Saucer s/4. Okay, these are a frivolous want. I don’t own an espresso maker, but I have it on good authority that my mother is getting one for Christmas. My sister found a one of a kind set for her, but as I was browsing, I found this set. They look like something you’d find at the Mad Hatter’s table!
8. Antiqued Mirror Frame, $19.00 from Urban Outfitters. I am absolutely terrible when it comes to photographs. I’m camera shy when it comes to taking pictures, except when I’m on vacation…then I snap, snap, snap away – but it is hardly ever of anything frameworthy (landmarks, food, badly taken photos, etc.). And the few photos I do have…well, they are hidden in some photo box somewhere. I have framed artwork, but no photographs at home or at my office. That is something I am looking to change, and I think that this would be a lovely frame.
9. Adobe Photoshop CS6, ($Major Ugh). I used to be quite the Photoshop guru “back in the day.” I was even able to use my skills to earn some cash on the side in high school. However, since college, it was something I used less and less, and when I upgraded to a new macbook last year, my old software no longer worked. Which is why pretty graphics like the one above are so rare. I currently have a trial version that I will be sad to lose very soon. This might be something I will have to bite the bullet on and purchase for myself in a few months (though, to be honest, I prefer the older version of Photoshop!)
However, that list does not include the super awesome day manfriend and I have planned out to spend together. Apparently, we are both extremely difficult to shop for – for 2 polar opposite reasons. 1) I’m apparently “the girl who has everything,” and while I’d like to see what he can come up with on his own, I admit that I’d have trouble giving him ideas AND, I’m having a hard time of thinking of ideas for him! Simply because he never wants anything, and anything I can think of just doesn’t seem good enough! Well, that or they just seem absolutely ludicrous in reality. Sure, I’d love for him to dress like he just walked out of a J. Crew catalog, but that just doesn’t work in his life. Oh well, these are extremely minor…annoyances to have in the grand scheme of things! So far, we have planned to go ice skating, grab some hot chocolate, have a fabulous dinner at my favorite restaurant, and then go to the Nutcracker (if you can’t tell, this may mostly be his present to me). If we can get an early enough start, we may be able to squeeze in a visit to the Fine Art Museum, to see the exhibit featuring works from the Prado museum (*so* excited for this)! Otherwise, it will wait for another day.

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Recently on Instagram

 

1. My beautiful & marshmallowy cat, Pastis.
2. Thanksgiving cornucopia arrangement.
3. Espresso, hazelnut, earl grey, & pumpkin spice macarons. Essie Boxer Shorts mani.
4. New haircut + fuschia infinity scarf.
5. Antique typewriter.
6. Christmas decorations in Highland Village.
7. View while stuck in one of the worst traffic jams ever.
8. Evening game of Pick Up Sticks (or as we call it, Mikado).
9. Gorgeous gown.
10. Christmas tree in the Galleria (base is in the ice skating rink, and it reaches up to the glass roof above the 3rd floor).
11. Seasonal macarons from Sweet.
12. Fortune cookie. Clearly the dream to come true is not me winning the lottery.
13. Naked palette, Naked 2 palette, + Chanel’s Mystic eyes.
14. Chanel bag + peacock wrap – accessories for a wedding I attended.
15. The gorgeous and super sweet bride (a childhood friend) & her groom.
16. View of Texas hill country, outside of wedding venue.
17. Kitschy flamingoes planted along the Austin highway, near my dad’s old office.
18. Early Christmas treat from my boss!

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Black & Gold

One of my latest obsessions (and it seems that I am not the only one) is the combination of black and gold. Which is perfect for the upcoming holiday season, so I seem to have plenty options for wearing this color combo.


Ted Baker London Jacquard Fit & Flare Dress, $275.00
To me, this seems like it would be a fun dress for New Year’s Eve. I love Swiss dots in general, but the textured gold is really fun. And it could be worn any other night out after.

J. Crew Collection Etta Sequin Pump, $350.00
Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure these originally had “leopard” in their name. They don’t really scream “LEOPARD!” to me, but I can see a subtle animal print with the mix of gold and silver sequins against the black fabric.


Zara Jacquard Mini Skirt, $90.00
If only I could wear minis. Well this one would surely look lovely with a black top, or a gold one…even white or cream! I think any rich color could work too, such as a deep burgundy or teal top.


Tory Burch Darlene Cuff, $165.00
Gold and black go with nearly everything, so this cuff is a great piece that can be worn day to day.


Free People Starry Night tight, $28.00
I love stars, & I love tights. These black tights with metallic stars would look great under a neutral long sleeved dress.


Michael Kors MK5270 ceramic black watch, $330.00
This is my favorite watch. It is available online from a few sites, but I actually purchased this last year from a Fossil outlet (because Michael Kors watches are made by Fossil) for closer to $200. Also, I was always leery of ceramic watches, because I thought they were more fragile, however this watch has held up beautifully even though I wear it *all* the time. I have several nice watches, having worked for Fossil a few years ago (and their employee discount is fantastic), but this is my favorite!


Dior nailpolish in Diva & Lady ($26.00 ea.)
Nailpolish is one of my favorite accessories (I have 2 rotating racks full…yea :x .), and an easy way to incorporate black and gold into your look. These 2 shades are from the Dior “Le Grand Bal” collection. Both are a bit scarce online, but I’ve seen them floating around department stores in all 4 shades. There is a set of 3 shades (not including lady) available from Bergdorf Goodman here.

Butter London also has two of my favorite golds – West End Wonderland & Tart With a Heart ($14.00 ea.)

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Frocks, frocks, frocks

With the festive holiday season fast approaching, Anthropologie is offering 25% off of full priced dresses & chemises (no code required) this weekend. I have a couple of casual holiday get-togethers planned – actually, I think I’m going to wear the Mitered Striped Chemise (which I have already purchased during this promotion) with a belt and boots for Thanksgiving.

Still, I will be attending at least one formal affair this year the December wedding of a very dear and childhood friend.

Of course, it doesn’t take much to convince me when it comes to buying pretty dresses, so I am weighing several options for the occaision.

Boston Ivy

Featured: Boston Ivy Dress by Project Alabama from Anthropologie, on sale for $148.00; Misty Bramble Jacket from BHLDN; Harlow Metallic Clutch by BCBG; Chanel Vamp nailpolish; Petal-Scalloped Pumps in silver from Anthropologie; Reminder ring from Anthropologie.

I find the Boston Ivy Dress itself to be absolutely stunning – gauzey tulle with gunmetal embroidered vines crawling all over the dress. For myself, the color and length scare me. However, this is currently my favorite dress on Anthro’s site, and this temporary promo might be worth a try for me (sometimes these fleshy colors are just the right shade on me, that rather than washing me out, they accentuate the golden tones I have in my skin and make me glow – fingers crossed).

Rosegold

Featured: Rosegold Stripes Dress by Sachin & Babi from Anthropologie on sale for $148.00; Vapor Cardigan from BHLDN (2011); Radical Sandak by Kate Spade; True Love Ring by Renard bijoux from Anthropologie; Chanel Particuliere nailpolish; Keeping Clutch by Stuart Weitzman.

…And after my comment about being scared of the color of the Boston Ivy Dress, here is another fleshy colored option – the Rosegold Stripes Dress. I tried this one on in my store, and it does have a nice rosy color to it, so I’m not totally washed out, and it has the prettiest subtle shimmer.

Goldleaf

Featuring: Goldleaf Cocktail Dress by Project Alabama from Anthropologie, on sale for $198.00, HUE Opaque tights in black; Rolling Ribbon Satin Pumps by Ted Baker from Anthropologie; Cha Cha Chocolate Clutch by Kate Spade (2011); Essie nailpolish in Boxer Shorts

I’ve wanted a gold overlay dress ever since I first saw the one on Laura Linney’s character in Love Actually back in 2003. This isn’t really an exact substitute, but it could be fun to layer over different colored slips! However, I do have last year’s Veiled Alder dress, which I find to be similar in concept, details, and shape.

Shadowlace


Featuring: Shadowlace Dress by Moulinette Soeurs from Anthropologie, on sale for $126.00; Cha Cha Chocolate Clutch by Kate Spade (2011); BCBGMAXAZRIA Peony Stone-Detail Pump; Deborah Lippmann nailpolish in “Boom Boom Pow”; Frayed Grosgrain belt from Anthropologie; Brasov Boatneck Topper from Anthropologie.

The Shadowlace Dress reminds me of a more formal version of the much loved and highly coveted Sweet Olive Shift dress (it also a bit more modest). I do love me some lace, and this is a versatile option. Plus, the Brasov Boatneck Topper is a beautiful coordinating coverup that will still allow the lace to show through.

Gretta skirt


Featuring: Karinska Tulle Skirt by Alexandra Grecco (also available in ivory here); J Crew Factory Draped Sequin Tee; BCBG Stone belt in hematite; Miu Miu Swarovski peep-toe platforms; Sally Hansen nailpolish in “Opulent Cloud”; Pride & Prejudice Book Clutch by Kate Spade.

Okay, so this last one is not like the others – it does not feature an Anthro dress that is currently on promotion. However! This was my original idea. I actually purchased this skirt directly from Alexandra Grecco before I ever knew that Anthropologie would be carrying it or a cream color way (I still prefer this stormy seafoam version), and how many times is it really going to be okay for me to wear a tulle skirt?

Has / will anyone else take advantage of Anthropologie’s promotion this weekend?

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Lazy lazy Sunday + A Few of my Favorite Things

Happy Veterans Day to everyone – I hope that you are all enjoying a nice weekend, and for those of you whom have served / are serving in the military, or are related to someone who is/has (as someone with many friends who are military wives, I can only begin to imagine what a sacrifice it is for them/you as well) – thank you!

I am currently making the most of a lazy Sunday. In recent months, my weekends have actually been pretty busy, but definitely not this weekend! I’m a bit under the weather at the moment, and some rain & actual fall weather seems to be rolling in – making it even easier to do absolutely nothing lol.

It also doesn’t hurt that have something simultaneously cute & comfortable to laze about in – my newest, and current favorite purchase from Anthropologie – the Eyelet Twofer Chemise by Eloise.

…While, as the reviews on Anthropologie’s site state, you can wear this as a dress, I’m definitely preferring this as a lounge piece. Unfortunately, that means you won’t be seeing me model this one for the time being! This chemise is long enough (at 5’1″, the skirt does reach my knees!), and the top is certainly adorable, but the skirt is sheer…and really, with my skintone, a color that is more suitable for loungewear or sleepwear. If you are interested in purchasing this piece, I would say it runs true to size, and the skirt is actually friendly to larger bottoms. I purchased this in store, and took home a small, as the medium added far too much volume on the bottom (and the small fits nicely, even a bit large, as lounge/sleepwear pieces should!).

I’ve been making “excellent” use of my time today (har har), surfing the internet, and filling up far too many online shopping carts because of all of the ridiculous sales that are going on right now – extra 20% off at Sephora for beauty insiders, 20% off at beauty.com, 20 % off at J Crew Factory, 25% off of J Crew for $150+ or more, 25% off of AE.com, 30% off of furniture at Anthropologie & free shipping over $100, etc. etc. etc. *head explodes*. One (or more) of these deals may or may not have (definitely did) gotten me into enough trouble already.

Anyways, independent from money spending, I thought I’d share a few things that I found and enjoyed while browsing the internet…

Sarah Vickers, of Classy Girls Wear Pearls was given a behind the scenes sneak peek of the new costumes for the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker Suite. The embroidery and details on the pieces above are insane. See more here
I am always impressed with Louise’s style, but when I saw this post, my jaw just dropped. I am absolutely in love with 1920′s / flapper fashion (heck, this might merit it’s own post). I was at Party City a couple of weeks ago looking for “just cat ears” and got quickly sucked into their 1920′s costume pieces & accessories. I was able to step away, but not before deciding to have my own flapper themed birthday / halloween party next year. I do own some decidedly 1920′s inspired pieces, but none as ornate or gorgeous as this!
As someone who has a big time sweet tooth (and affinity for chocolate), but also has big time issues with weight, I was happy to find this recipe for “raw brownies.” This recipe contains only 5 ingredients, and no baking is required. Cannot wait to give these a whirl this week.
 

For the DIYers among you, The Craft Pack has come out with a DIY handbook for cute holiday gifts. If only I could find someone that would appreciate a nutcracker bowling set!
Although I haven’t done much of it this year, I absolutely love to travel. And one of my favorite things to do while traveling is to *eat* (Sure, I visited Gustave Moreau museum while in Paris earlier this year…but I ate. Alot. In fact, I often refer to that trip as “Paris by Mouth.”). I’ve been to England once before, but haven’t been to London…so it is on my list. And when I finally get there, I will be hitting up this dreamy Russian restaurant that Krisatomic has captured above. See more photos (and a full review) here.

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VOTE!

I know that I have been a very bad blogger, but this is certainly a post worth making! For those of you that live in the wonderful United States (and if you haven’t already), you should certainly go out and do your civic duty and vote tomorrow! No matter who you vote for! Too many people in this country believe that their vote doesn’t count / opinion doesn’t matter, and that’s the entire problem. Too many people think that way, and that in itself has a larger impact than anyone could ever realize. So, please take some time out of your day and cast your vote :) .

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