Tuesday, April 30, 2013

i can see you but you can't see me

Last week The Everygirl posted a fashion feature highlighting three spring trends shown two ways as styled by the talented sister duo Darlene and Stephanie of Glitterary (they're from Alaska, living in Chicago, and damn do these two have talent–seriously check em out).

Anywho, one of the looks they did was “All White” and they ventured down to the Chicago Yacht Club to photograph it. The combination of white outfits against the blue water as a backdrop was brilliant. But what really caught my eye were the sunglasses red-haired Stephanie was wearing: they were a pair of aviators with blue reflective lenses (shown in the second photo below). I feel like I've seen colored and reflective sunglasses before but all of a sudden I feel like I'm at Coldstone Creamery deciding whether I like them, love them, or gotta have them. Likely the latter.

A quick Pinterest search for "reflective sunglasses" proved quite fruitful as all the big names in the fashion bizz are sporting these–including top blogger Sabrina Meijer of AftrDrk (shown in the green lenses) and my girl Viviana Volpicelli (donning the red)...


I can't say I'm craaaazy about the vibrant colorful hues; I think the green is a bit alien-esque. Odds are if I get a pair it will likely be in the blue or colorless variety.

Would you or have you sported this look? Fun for summer, no?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Me as bedding.

Yes, you're reading that correctly. Let me backtrack.

Y'all know my dearest pal Bailey Quin McCarthy, interior designer, shopowner, blogger, and mom extraordinaire, opened up a store in Houston last fall. Affectionately named Biscuit, the shop offers an original bedding line among other cheeky home goods. Part of the genius behind the bedding is that Bailey found inspiration from her favorite bloggers and named the bedding after them. So when the company launched half a year ago, there was the Katie (Armour of Matchbook Magazine) and the Joanna (Goddard of Cup of Jo), to name a few. And now... drum roll please... there's the Alaina!

Flattered. Giddy. Surreal. All words floating through my head as I see the print–complete with tiny Eiffel towers and mint and pink confetti (how apropos!)–on an actual bed! It's kind of hard to see in the pics above since it's the duvet folded at the foot of the bed, but I'll have plenty of more photos soon enough! And I'm pretty sure the Alaina, along with all the other new spring lines, will be available online this week or next! I'll be sure and let you know. And let's be honest. It's probably going to fly off the shelves... Who doesn't love Paris and candy-colored confetti?! No one.


Here's a detailed photo Bailey sent me a while ago when they were having the sheets printed at the mill in North Carolina. It's me as bedding!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Bailey! And congrats!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thoughts on Men's Fashion // cuffed jeans

There are few things I appreciate more in life more than a well-dressed man (my family's well-being, Nora Ephron movies, and puppies being a few others of notable mention). I've said it before, but it doesn't take much for a man to look polished, sharp, and sexy. And sometimes it comes down to one thing in particular: a great fitting pair of jeans. Combine them with a manly pair of boots or loafers, and it's amazing what these two things can accomplish.

More recently, however, I've become an avid fan of one look in particular: the cuffed jean. This takes a man's look to a whole new level, whether he realizes it or not. The genius of it is that it's extremely fashionable but still rugged and manly–defying the stereotype that a fashionable man automatically looks "metro." He could be wearing a broken-in tee or hoodie and a worn pair of boots, and this simple styling trick ups the sex appeal like whoa. Shows he knows a thing or two. Or maybe he doesn't but at least he's willing to listen and take advice from someone who does know.

If any men are reading this, I highly recommend giving it a go.


If the guy in your life–be it boyfriend, brother, husband, son, etc.–is thinking of investing in a great pair of jeans, here are some of the best sources. I know some are a bit pricey, but I promise you it will pay off. ; )

BEST SOURCES FOR MEN'S JEANS:
Taylor Stitch
Bonobos
J.Crew
RRL
Joe's
J Brand
APC
Simon Miller


jeans 1 | 2 | 3  //  shoes 1 | 2


jeans 4 | 5 | 6  //  shoes 3 | 4

Remember to go slim, slim straight, or straight fit in a dark wash. For best results, cuff the ankles with a single roll and serve.

Have to send a big thanks to Danny, Austin, and Pete who helped me w/ this one! I'm no expert at sourcing men's fashion outside of J.Crew, but these dudes know a thing or two.

OTHER MEN'S STYLE POSTS:
Men's Style Part 1: Always Dress Like You're Going to Run Into Your Ex
Men's Style Part Deux: The Tie Clip
Men's Style Part 3: I have many leatherbound books.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

I've been in love with love...

It's funny because today we posited the question to Everygirl readers: how would you spend your perfect day? And it just so happens I have such a great little weekend planned, starting with today.


I was up and at it early this morning to meet with a group of students from University of Iowa. We had coffee and I answered questions about a career in journalism. Talking with students is one of my favorite things to do since I wish I had someone to sit me down when I was 22 and tell it to me like it is. I gave them as much advice as possible: about starting a blog, building it, pitching ideas and getting published, internships, utilizing social media, etc. Hopefully it was helpful for them!

This afternoon Danielle and I are headed to a Cubs game "on business" w/ the folks from Federated and HTC. Man, working for yourself has its perks. Sure it's cold, but when is a baseball game not fun? Never. The answer is baseball is never not fun.

And tonight I'll be drinking a little too much wine while dancing to these guys–the Mowgli's–at their sold out show at Schuba's. I love live music. And I also dare you not to like this song. It's too darn catchy I tell ya.



Favorite Lyrics:
I lost my head in San Francisco,
waiting for the fog to roll out,
but I found it in a raincloud.
It was smiling down.

Tomorrow I have a long overdue day date with my sister–lunch and pedicures–followed by a girls dinner and ladies night out with my girlfriends. Fun cubed.

What's in store for you? Any exciting plans? Or busy bees?

Either way, I hope you all have a happy weekend!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Belle Home Tour: Bathroom Before and After

So... what did we think?! I'm so overwhelmed and grateful for all of the positive feedback about my home tour. I know it's quite different from my old place–more bold, more grown up, more finished. I know the living room is much more masculine than I think anyone would have thought I'd do. But as I said in my interview, I was determined to decorate an all neutral space using a lot of graphic patterns and shades of grey, and I love that I stuck with that and how it turned out.

Over the next week or so, I'll be doing a lot of back-tracking. Taking you on full before-after recaps of how my apartment got to where it is. So if this isn't your bread and butter, I apologize. If it is, get excited. We are starting with the biggest transformation of all. The bathroom.

You may recall I referred to this room as the black sheep of the home when I was first signed the lease on Belle. (And for those of you who are REALLY new, I refer to the apartment as Belle. Long story. It doesn't matter why, just know that I do it.) It was dirty-looking, dark, awkward, w/ a funny shaped tub/shower situation and parts missing from the ceiling. Charm city.

There she is.

Looks like a frat house bathroom, no?

Painting this wood paneling was a real B. The wood acts as a sponge so it took an entire can to cover this small room. I documented the whole painting process here.

And here it is through the Stoffers' lens. Instead of going the typical bath mat route, I went with a black and white striped runner by Dash and Albert available through Layla Grayce. The room itself is long and the mucky-colored floor tiles are quite ugly, so I thought this was the best solution to hiding as much of it as possible. Plus it keeps my tootsies warm. The stylist in me is kicking myself for not having some cool black and white art hanging on the wall to the left. Oh well.

Oh, this next before and after is my favorite...

Before. Love the missing lightbulb, splattering on the wall, and empty soap dispenser. Seriously like a bad cabin motel rental.

After! White, bright, clean, and lovely. Yes, I humpty-dumptied a few photos together to give you the full picture of what's going on from this angle. Adding gold finishes was always on the to do for this room. I changed out the knobs on the cabinet with leftover knobs after a family member's kitchen renovation. And I bought the cheapest option of toilet paper and towel rack Home Depot offered in this shiny brass finish. (Actually it was the only one they offered–every other piece of bathroom hardware in the store was polished chrome or brushed nickel.) I am aware investing any money into fixtures in a rental sounds... well, not smart. But I can't tell you enough how happy this transformation makes me. This went from being the worst room in the house to one of my favorites. A relaxing little haven where I can escape and pamper myself with a nice bath, scented candle, and glass of vino.

Another favorite shot. The gold details and the glow of the candle are everything. The photograph is my own; I snapped it in London's Covent Garden. Oh, how I miss that city.

And another before for comparison.

Crazy, right?! And how sharp are those black ceiling beams?! That's my favorite part of the bathroom, hands down. Note the shiny brass toilet paper rod is the same collection as the towel bar.

Let me tell you, brass shower curtain rings are NOT easy to find. I had to get them off this random site the Bed Bath Store. Love them paired with my simple white shower curtains from Pottery Barn. Also, I painted the metal curtain rods. Not sure you're supposed to do that, but it worked.

This apartment is huge, but there is no "linen closet" for bathroom storage. So I used one of my expedit shelves to corral towels, toiletries, and extra tp. I'm not going to lie. It hardly ever looks quite so organized, but at least the bins hide medicines, tampons, and all the other goodies you don't want lying around in front of guests.

Stoffer Photography's snapshot. Much prettier. Obsessed with that skin care collection you see there with the dots on it. Somme Institute. If you're in the market, I highly recommend giving it a try. My skin feels so much better and the dark circles under my eyes are slowly fading. Yay aging prevention! That sweet gold candle, and black candle and diffuser atop the shelves are all by Dayna Decker. Another brand I've fallen in love with. Their candles crackle like a fireplace and the packaging is perfect for any decor savvy shopper. They are a bit pricey, but keep them in mind as an extra special gift (Mother's Day!).

The trimmed towels and brass container are Serena and Lily. Now, I have to be honest. I have S&L bedding and am obsessed. Super soft and luxurious and great quality. The towels, however, aren't holding up like I would hope! Threads are coming undone along the edges which I find very disappointing since I haven't had them long... at least they look awesome. The polka dot make-up bag is Kate Spade. The framed photo is my own–I had it hanging above my bed at my old apartment.

So you can see the goodies on top a little better. Yes, that's a fake orchid. I've had it for years and I love it because it never dies like every other plant I own.

Last shot!

COMPLETE LIST OF BATHROOM SOURCES
Dash and Albert Lighthouse black ivory runner, Layla Grayce
gold Marni glass, Jayson Home (used here as vase)
black candle, Dayna Decker
Twirl perfume, Kate Spade
brass shower curtain rings, Bed Bath Store
grand embroidered shower curtain, Pottery Barn
face products, Somme Institute Skin Care
brass candleholder, Serena and Lily
faux Boxwood topiary, New Growth Design via Joss and Main
striped towels, West Elm
Bark border frame towels, Serena and Lily
white Expedit shelves, Ikea



SEE THE FULL HOME TOUR HERE!

really pretty photos by Stoffer Photography for The Everygirl
other photos by me

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My Home Tour on The Everygirl!

Oh, Fiona. How I love that awkward pup.

Finally, my home tour is here! Check it out!

Lots of details to follow in the upcoming week.

florals by Jayson Home
styling by me!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

my home tour is coming... and me as lois griffin.

After months of teasing, my home tour is finally on The Everygirl tomorrow! 7am - set your alarms!

I know I said no more sneak peeks but I instagrammed this and it's just too good to not share...


The one cute corner of my desperate but homey(?) kitchen. I spy the talented photographer Maura Stoffer in the reflection of my beauteous mint-colored Kitchenaid mixer, the newest and final addition to my home! Her and her husband John did such an amazing job w/ these photos. Cannot wait to share!

Plus I'm excited to reveal which art, bedroom lamps, and dining chairs I chose! Thanks so much for all who participated in the voting. I'll explain my choices in the upcoming weeks following the big reveal.

In other news... an illustrated version of Danielle and me made it into a short article in this month's Luxe Magazine. Headline reads It Girls??? Silly Rabbit... we're Everygirls. Makes me chuckle. While it's surreal seeing a drawing of myself, I can't help but think I resemble... who is it... ah yes. Lois Griffin.

Yes? At least the artist was generous on my waistline! I'll take it!

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