keeping toasty

One problem with living in Southern California is how warm it is.  Now, I realize this might not seem like an issue to complain about. But whenever I'm about to make a little trip up to Michigan in the middle of February...it is.  I have been so spoiled by this gorgeous weather lately I almost forgot it was still winter.

Naturally, I'm finding myself in a bit of a packing crisis.  The sandals and lightweight shirt I'm currently wearing are just not going to cut it in the 30-degree weather waiting for me. Here are some looks and pieces I'm hoping will magically appear in my closet before my flight tomorrow...
photo via brooklyn blonde
photo via blonde bedhead
photo via could i have that
photos by bonnie tsang
1. I am obviously so into layering faux fur over another jacket. It feel so cozy and warm, yet so chic. I love how Helena layers these different shades of blue.
2. I need a good trench, like this one. I also love the dress in this photo. It adds some color and fun to an otherwise casual outfit.
3. The different textures in this outfit make it so appealing to me. Leather and cashmere, with a touch of sparkle? Yes, please. That's a combo to warm this girl right up.
4. I've been drooling over this casual sweater by just say native for days. It just looks oh, so comfortable. I basically want to live in it. I'm still bummed I missed the Rose Bowl flea market this month--that sweater could have been mine! Maybe next month they'll have something else cozy I can scoop up.

What are you coveting right now? Until next week friends, unless I freeze!



[gap t-shirt, madewell skirt, michael kors heels and watch, david yurman bracelet, rings: nordstrom, caravan gallery in st. john, virgin islands, polo ralph lauren glasses, hobo leather wallet]

i love when my tattoo plays peek-a-boo in a great pair of shoes!
Recently, I've seen the Fall trend of colorblocking also pop up on blogs and the runways for Spring (here, here, here, and here).  These fashionistas wear the trend so well, but that much extreme color at once seems a bit unwearable, and honestly pretty intimidating to me.  I'm much more keen to wear a pop of color, rather than several from head-to-toe. With that said, I was thrilled when I found this skirt at Madewell over the weekend.  First of all, it's my two favorite colors in one piece. Now I couldn't be happier to rock this trend, my way.

Also, I'm aware it isn't Spring yet, but the 77-degree weather makes it very easy to pretend it is. Here's to the upcoming season and lots of fun bright colors!


jewelry display

I am the most organized person ever when it comes to work.  But for some reason, I always struggle to keep that same mentality within my home.  It's something I'm working on.  A good example is the way I've stored my jewelry in the past: in their containers...in a drawer.  This was an incredibly insufficient storage method, especially since I gravitate toward the same few pieces on a daily basis. Digging to find them every day was becoming very annoying.

As of a couple months ago, I decided it made more sense to display my frequently-worn jewelry.  Technically, jewelry could almost be classified as art, so why not display those pretty pieces?

[bowls and flower vase from anthropologie]
This has been so much more convenient for me and I'm obsessed with all the pretty porcelain bowls at Anthropologie! I had so much fun mixing the different sizes and prints.

I have tons more jewelry I don't wear as often, which still resides in the aforementioned drawer. I'm planning to finally get all of that organized in the near future as well so stay tuned!
I hope everyone has a relaxing long weekend!



[j-crew sweater {bought on sale!}, pashmina scarf, zara jeans, apepazza boots from buffalo exchange, michael kors watch, david yurman bracelet, nordstrom ring, sunglasses from a farmers market, lips: chanel rouge coco in superstition, nails: essie]

As I mentioned yesterday, I celebrated Valentine's Day by doing the obvious thing: wearing red jeans.  The best thing about these is that not only are they a bright, festive color, but they are so comfortable.  When I paired them with a warm scarf and my coziest J.Crew sweater, I basically felt like I was wearing pajamas.  So I decided to step it up a notch and rock my brand new, over-the-knee boots.

I bought these on a whim over the weekend.  I know, you're shocked.  I was so excited to find a pair that weren't insanely expensive, yet didn't look cheap.
flowers i received from my dad yesterday!
I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and have a great week! If you're in LA, stay dry today.


last-minute loving

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope everyone, regardless of what relationship status you have, has a wonderful day filled with love.  Personally, I find today to be a bit of a hallmark holiday--I think we should all shower our friends and family with love any day of the year.  But then again, I can't hold too much angst over a day where it's socially acceptable to consume mass amounts of chocolate and sweets.

With that said, I have plans with my boyfriend tonight, and taking a tip from Parks and Recreation, I celebrated "Galentine's Day" with some of my ladies last night. Here are some lovely ideas I found around the web to celebrate the day:
photo courtesy of design lovefest
These e-valentines from Kate Spade are so whimsical and adorable--perfect for anyone you love!
photo courtesy of oh happy day!
In case you need something cute to put your friends' candy in.
photo courtesy of a beautiful mess
It might be a bit late for this one, but this DIY is too perfect for the holiday not to mention. Does this remind anyone else of the J.Crew sweater?
photo courtesy of could i have that
 These are way better than those awful conversation heart candies if you ask me. These too.
photo courtesy of a beautiful mess
Keeping this in mind for when I have kiddos one day.
photo courtesy of glitter guide
I love this idea for a themed girls night in! Someone start making the cocktails and I'll head on over...wearing my red pants, of course. It is Valentine's Day, after all.

And a Valentine's giveaway for good measure. I'll be sharing more love tomorrow (hint: it involves said red pants). Go big or go home, right? Have a lovely day!


honey dijon salmon

There was possible drooling on my part when I saw this recipe. This is definitely on my radar! Lately I've been on the hunt for new recipes that aren't too difficult and this one definitely fits the bill. I'm hoping to give it a try within the next couple of weeks.
photo courtesy of the effortless chic
Honey Dijon Salmon
What you'll need:
-1/2-1 lb. salmon filet
-2 tbl maple syrup
-1 tsp honey
-1 tbl dijon mustard
-1/2 cup orange juice
-2 tbl brown sugar

1. Place washed and dried salmon filet in a small, shallow baking dish. Add all ingredients. Lightly rub filet to make sure it is covered equally with all ingredients...especially the dijon mustard. Cover and refrigerate for 1-12 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Remove salmon from the refrigerator and transfer the marinated filet to a lightly oiled pan. Bake for 10-20 minutes depending on the size and thickness of your filet.

This would be phenomenal over quinoa, as Jen suggests, or rice and veggies. Not only does this sound delicious and filling, but also pretty healthy! Lord knows I could use that.  Living with skilled bakers is both a blessing and a curse, my friends.
Happy Monday everyone!


cheap wines part two

I recently shared some Napa Valley winemakers' picks for cheap wines.  Since I can go on (and on) about wine, I thought I'd also share some of my favorite affordable wines as well!

 Clockwise from top right:
1. Ruta 22 2009 Malbec Reserve: $10--I first tried this at Artisan House
2. Dow's Vale do Bomfim 2006: $10--a Portuguese wine my family drank on Christmas Eve in Crested Butte
3. The Dreaming Tree Central Coast Chardonnay: $15-- Dave Matthews created this wine, need I say more? I tried the chardonnay when my boyfriend sent a couple bottles to my door!
4. Clos du Bois North Coast Sauvignon Blanc: $12--I love sauvignon blancs, but I'm also very picky about them (I don't like them dry like a chardonnay); this is a great one in my book
5. Kim Crawford Malborough Unoaked Chardonnay: $13--I first received this wine free from work as they're a client of ours; I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised!
6. Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon: $8--very smooth and not too heavy; I'd love to try this with a steak (good thing I have several in my freezer right now, seriously)
7. Perrin & Fils Cotes du Rhone Nature: $9--another wonderful red wine my family drank in Crested Butte one year
8. Dancing Bull Cabernet Sauvignon: $7--this is my go-to cheap, red wine...it doesn't taste a bit cheap! I've also tried their chardonnay and it's great as well
9. Semler Cabernet Sauvignon: $35--this is easily the most expensive wine I've ever purchased. If you're looking to splurge a bit, I highly recommend it. The beau and I tried the '04 at Malibu Wines. (Tip: the '04 is the same price as the '05 and '06!)
photo courtesy of Maryse Chevriere
I also tried an '08 Muscat Canelli at the Masia de Yabar winery in Temecula last year that I was obsessing over for weeks after.  Unfortunately the wine is not in stock right now...but if you stumble upon it, you must try it. If you're into super sweet wine, that is. Luckily, during my recent trip to Malibu Wines, I tasted a Saddlerock orange muscat that was a close second.  You can get your own bottle for $28.

Now, I'm not proclaiming myself a "wino" persay, but I do know what good wine tastes like, even if I can't describe the exact flavors :)
Happy Friday everyone!


j. crew spring collection

Fashion week kicks off today, and in honor of all the pretty (and crazy) clothes we're about to see popping up on the runways and in magazines and blogs, why not take a look at something a bit more wearable and realistic for ourselves? The J.Crew Spring 2012 lookbook is now available for viewing, and all these bright colors and festive prints are putting me right in the mood for spring.
As much as I would love to visit Fashion Week (it's definitely on my bucket list), previewing this collection will be just fine for me. 

Happy shopping everyone!



[gifted bird by juicy couture jacket, target tank, tdm design infinity scarf, bp jeans, michael antonio clogs, michael kors rose gold watch, bracelets: david yurman, cc skye, gifted lia sophia, rings: nordstrom, kracked la, sunglasses purchased from a farmers market, love & beauty nail color in mint]

Mondays are normally very drab--I think we can all agree on this.  But being greeted on Monday morning with a giant pink Juicy Couture bag on your desk definitely spices things up a bit.  Such was the case on not one, but two occasions.  Don't worry, I already pinched myself.  The first time this happened I found this Bird by Juicy Couture jacket, which I believe is the perfect blend of casual comfort. And man, is this thing soft.  The second time (just after Christmas) the same lovely publicists sent me the rhinestone Lia Sophia bangles, which I have been wearing non-stop ever since.

These types of Mondays make the work week seem a lot more fun and fabulous.  What else can you really ask for? Here's to a great week!


cheap wines

It's no secret I love wine. A lot.  My mom always loved a good glass of chardonnay, and my dad loves a great cabernet sauvignon--there's actually a wine room in our house in Oklahoma holding various bottles.  I have to say though, I don't understand the point on spending a ton of money on wine.  I mean, it's going to be gone soon anyway, so what's the point? I see no shame in selecting a cheap bottle of vino.

The gals over at Sequin Harvest do an on-going winemaker series on their blog, where they interview winemakers from Napa Valley. One of the questions they ask is "what's the best wine for under $20?" I half-expected these winos to stick up their nose and say it wasn't possible, but that was definitely not the case! These wines are currently on my to-try list.

Chris Phelps, winemaker from Ad Vivum answered:
"There are hundreds of fantastic wines from Bordeaux in the $10-$20 range; I wish more of these wines, which honestly represent the terroirs from which they come, were more easily available here in Napa Valley. Chateau Beausejour in Puisseguin-St. Emilion is one of these wines."
[Chris Phelps: photo and quote courtesy of sequin harvest]
 Patrick Sullivan, winemaker from Rudd Oakville Estate answered: 
"I have been on a California kick for value under $20 lately.  I used to feel that it was a better value to look to Europe for these wines.  Not anymore.  There are always good white wine values, but there are a lot of red wine values also.  Think Zin, Cab, Pinot from Sonoma and even Napa has lots of good value.  The best value in Napa valley right now is the 2008 Oakville Grocery Cab which is all Napa Valley fruit.  It’s only $20/btl.  Another great “drinking wine” I bought this week was a 2006 Clos du Bois “Briarcrest” Alexander Valley Cab for $14.99/btl."
[Patrick Sullivan: photo and quote courtesy of sequin harvest]
 Also, if you're wondering how jealous I am of the girls who run Sequin Harvest...the answer is insanely. I think it would be so thrilling to drop everything and run off to Napa for a summer to work in the wine business.  I'll give these wines a try, and share my favorites with you all soon (tough research, I know). I hope everyone enjoys an inexpensive bottle of vino this weekend--enjoy!


travel wish list

the bahamas

germany [photo courtesy of bianca]
london [photos courtesy of kristin]
turks & caicos

January always puts me in a bit of a funk, usually because I'm bummed the holiday festivities are over.  For me, the holidays bring delectable food, drinks with friends, shopping (mostly for others, I promise), and traveling.  With a brief stomach flu putting my enjoyment on hold during my Colorado trip this year, I'm still itching to get out of my city and travel somewhere new.

Unfortunately these fabulous places are out of my budget right now, so I'm actively thinking about more attainable destinations within my own state.  That's the beauty of living in California--there are so many places to visit!

long valley in palm springs [photo courtesy of stylishlyme]
santa barbara [photo courtesy of could i have that?]
napa valley [photo courtesy of sequin harvest]
big bear
 Okay, Napa is probably still a bit outlandish right now...but a girl can dream, right? I'm looking forward to visiting all of these places at some point in my life.  Now excuse me, I have some planning to do...