happy birthday, momma!

Today is a bit of a rough day, friends. My mom would have been 52 today.  I won't lie and say I'm in the brightest of spirits, but rather than playing debbie downer all day I want to take this time to remember all of the happy memories we had together. 
Today, like many days, I want to honor my lovely mom in everything I do. Here's a few ways I'm choosing to celebrate her on this special day:

1. Dress up. When I was in college and walked around looking borderline homeless, she would always get on to me about my lack of fashion sense during trips home. ("You're going out like that?") So today I wore a pretty new green dress with heels that she bought me for college graduation. I'm confident to say she'd approve.
2. Catch up with friends. I had a nice, long phone call with my best friend this week as its been a while since we'd caught up.  My mom would spend hours on the phone with her friends--a trait I was more than happy to pick up.
3. Cook hearty meals and drink wine. This is something we always did together, and I enjoy continuing the tradition with some of my favorite people.
4. Give. This morning I dropped off three large bags of clothes, stuffed animals, and pretty trinkets at Goodwill. My mom was such a giving person and always gave what she didn't need to others.
5. Laugh. Although it's been a tough day, I've received so many kind messages from friends. I especially loved the ones that made me laugh and brought up happy memories.  My mom was always laughing, often times even cracking herself up.

Tonight the beau and I are going out for mexican food (her favorite) and watching one of her favorite movies.  A perfect end to a special lady's birthday. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  If you get a minute, raise your glass to my mom--she'd love that.


spring cravings

It's been almost a week now since Spring officially "sprung", but Southern California weather remains frustratingly inconsistent.  I promise I'll stop whining about it soon, but until then here are some things I'm coveting (besides more sunlight, but that's a given).

Clockwise from top:
Aldo mint platform pumps
Rebecca Minkoff blue blazer (I absolutely love this one too)
Alice and Olivia maxi skirt
Dolce Vita embellished sandals
Baggu leather oversized clutch
Tolani cashmere scarf
DKNY colorblock blouse
J Brand skinny jeans in pale yellow

Clearly I'm still dreaming about pastels, but I'm also lusting after bright hues and bolder prints. Oh, if only I had an unlimited budget...maybe one day, friends.
Happy Spring shopping!


fresh start

My roomates and I are currently looking for a new place as our lease is up in June.  I basically despise the process of looking for a place and physically moving, so I'm trying to find a new perspective and look forward to all the great things to come.  Specifically, I'm excited to get a fresh start on my room decor.  As much as I love my room now (especially my massive closet--I will be so sad to leave that behind), I often feel it has the same feeling as my room when I was in college.  Cozy, but also very unsophisticated with no real aesthetic.  Here are some images giving me inspiration for the new look I'm craving.
image via could i have that
Saying I'm obsessed with this eclectic mix of framed photos is an understatement. A version of this will be in my bedroom this summer. I have so many wonderful photos, pieces of art and memorabilia and have never seemed to be able to find a way to put it all together.  Some beautiful randomness seems perfect for my space. Let's just hope the new place has a decently large wall!
image via sacramento street
image via lonny magazine
image via apartment 34
image via design sponge
image via sacramento street
image via sacramento street
image via could i have that
image via lonny mag
What's important to me is achieving a certain level of sophistication in my new space, while still holding on to my personal style and keeping my memories visible.  All of these lovely images (and more) are causing my decor wheels to turn. I can't wait to get started!

I hope everyone is having a great day!


dressed up

[stylemint t-shirt, gibson blazer from nordstrom, michael kors pants {purchased from marshalls}, heels from target, alumni sunglasses- gift, Janie Bryant MOD bag- gift, borrowed anthropologie necklace, bracelets: lia sophia c/o + david yurman, michael kors watch, moon rock ring from a boutique in crested butte, opi nails]

My overall style is pretty casual, and I love taking casual elements like this t-shirt from stylemint, and dressing them up.  This look is professional enough for a meeting, but when it comes down to it--I'm wearing a t-shirt. It doesn't get much better than that! I wanted to keep it fun by mixing prints again--not something I'm used to but having a lot of fun with it. Breaking out of your comfort zone and trying new things is what it's all about!

These photos are from a couple weeks ago, when the sun was still in our lives.  I'm crossing my fingers for the sun to come out today!



Today, in between lulls at work, I've been sporadically perusing the web for spring inspiration. Mostly, I've stumbled upon many pretty things I can't wait to fill my closet with (animal-adorned shirts, anyone?).  I may or may not have purchased a pretty spring dress during said perusing that I originally spotted here.  But amongst all the lovely trends popping up this Spring, there is one I just can't seem to get on board with.

I've seen some of my favorite bloggers in floral jeans and I have to say I think they are just so incredibly unflattering.  It makes sense that florals would be blooming in Spring (I couldn't resist), but I'd much rather run around town in a floral shirt or dress.  Granted I'm no expert here, and everyone else seems to be embracing it, but they seem so unwearable to me.

A trend I wish I could rock?  Pastels.  I've seen many head-to-toe pastel looks and I think they are simply lovely.  Unfortunately these colors tend to wash out my fair skin tone, so unfortunately I will be sticking to only hints of pastel this season.
image via fash boulevard
How adorable does Anna look in this pastel outfit? What trends do you love and loathe for Spring?


two things

photo by molly cranna via refinery 29
Refinery 29 ran a feature yesterday showcasing two of my favorite things: puppies and fashion. My stylish friend Jasmine and her adorable, sweet dog Milo were featured.  How much does this image make you want to grab your pup and play outside in light, flowy clothing?  Which, in case you were wondering, Jasmine and I do with Milo and Rocky quite often.

I hope everyone is enjoying their day! Tomorrow kicks off the weekend--I for one am looking forward to a couple days of celebrating friends' birthdays, organizing my apartment, and chopping off a bit of my hair (don't worry, nothing drastic).  Until then!


wedding season

With the first day of Spring finally here, "Wedding Season" isn't far behind.  Being from the Midwest means friends and acquaintances back home are announcing engagements and wedding dates, posting photos, and sharing memories.  Unfortunately I'm unable to attend every function I'm invited to (a downside of living so far from my hometown), but I still have so much fun finding gifts for these exciting occasions.  One of my best friends is getting married in July and I've already begun looking for gift inspiration. A priority for me is to find (or create, if you're crafty) a gift with a personal spin that won't cost an entire paycheck.

Clockwise from top:
1. A snapfish album, full of memories  Right now you'll receive 25% off a book with the code 25BOOKS through March 31. This is one of my favorite ideas because you get to be so involved in how the book turns out. (I actually made one of these for my dad for his birthday and he loved it--and it was a blast to make).
2. A soft, warm blanket for cuddle sessions on their couch
3.Giant letter bearing their last name to hang on their wall
4.Pretty stationary for all the thank-you notes they'll be writing
5.His & her coffee mugs
6.Wine glasses for future dinner parties
6.Custom address stamp
7.Napkin set

Other ideas:
- A holiday ornament for the couples' first season together together
- Framed wedding invitation--I've done this for friends before and also included a couple of their engagement photos to complete the look

I hope this helps everyone feel inspired and excited to shop for all of these weddings!



[borrowed old navy bird blouse, zara jeans, aldo shoes {old}, foley + corinna bag {similar here}, michael kors watch, david yurman bracelet, jewelmint equestrian ring, polo ralph lauren glasses, opi nails]

As you can probably tell from these photos, it was extremely windy on this day.  Why the rest of the country is having beautiful weather and Southern California has been cold, windy, and rainy is beyond me.

I wore this colorful outfit last week and felt amazing in it all day. It was perfect for work and dinner with friends at the end of the day.  Several people wanted to know where my bird blouse was from, and I loved seeing the shock on their faces when I answered "Old Navy." Personally I've always been a fan of it, but the store is so disorganized I get overwhelmed going there. Thank goodness for online shopping is all I have to say.  I kept my accessories simple to ground this outfit, as it's a bit outlandish compared to what I normally wear.  Breaking out of my comfort zone was fun and rewarding--something I'll be trying more often.

Also--if you haven't jumped on the JewelMint bandwagon yet, now is the time! Designed by Kate Bosworth and her stylist Cher Coulter, JewelMint members begin by taking a quiz to determine their personal style, and are then presented with a personal showroom each month.  For new shoppers, enter CHICAGO884 at checkout for 50% off your first piece.
I'm wishing everyone a fabulous week!


happy friday!

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I am thrilled it's finally Friday afternoon! This week has been dragging along, and the cold, sticky (and now rainy) weather is not my ideal almost-spring setting.  Unfortunately the rain will keep on through the weekend, but I refuse to let it run St. Paddy's day! My roomates and I have some friends coming to stay with us and we'll be making green pancakes and green beer (of course). I'd also be lying if I haven't been thinking about which green pieces to wear on Saturday. What is everyone doing to celebrate?
image via thoughtfully simple
 Here are some entertaining and inspiring things floating through the web right now:

Artist Kurt Perschke's RedBall project is so quirky and light-hearted.

I'm now coveting an antique bar cart for my apartment.

A cute and simple DIY to spice up your storage.

I'm craving homemade pizza.

John Steinbeck's letter to his son makes my heart melt.

The only reason I want a child right now.

A personal and eclectic office space.

Cupcake genius.

I think I need these mint shoes for Spring...

A good pick-me-up. I was so excited the balancing pup visited to my hometown!

Intermix is still having their warehouse sale! I just snatched up a knit tank for under $15--score.
Have a great weekend!


travel uniform

After my mini-getaway last weekend and booking a trip for June, travel is in the forefront of my mind lately.  I've been traveling more over the past couple years, and so I've discovered the best and worst things to wear while on-the-go. 

Now that I'm in the "real world," I feel silly wearing sweatpants while traveling.  Sure, it's comfortable, and I tend to always put comfort first, but it's also incredibly impractical when you land and are headed straight to meet family or friends.  Personally, I don't think "bum" qualifies as a great trend.  Recently I've developed a travel uniform that's both comfortable and presentable. That's a win-win in my book.

1. A relaxed, light sweater or t-shirt--this serves as a base for everything else. You want to choose something that's easier to layer with because temperatures on planes are so unpredictable!
2. Comfortable jeans with good stretch
3. Cozy scarf--bonus if you can find one large enough to double as a blanket.
4. Good shoes--I find the best travel shoes cover your entire foot, are comfortable (obviously), and are easy to run around in, yet still look a bit dressy for an overall polish.
5. Watch--so you'll always be on time.
6. A large, quality carry-on bag--mine needs to be big enough to carry all the necessities (including snacks).
7. Lipstick--I always try to bring a colored lipstick so as to freshen my look upon arrival, that way I'm not spending extra time in the bathroom trying to primp (ignore the photo for this one).

If you have a light jacket (maybe a trench like this one) that could be a great key piece as well.
Happy jet-setting!


weekend wear: easy breezy

[dress and feather ring from nordstorm {sale rack}, wal-mart sandals, chanel bag, david yurman bracelet, michael kors watch, opi nails, alumni sunglasses-gift]

A half-day trip to Coronado (or any trip, for that matter) requires a simple, no fuss outfit like this strapless maxi dress I scooped up from Nordstorm last summer.  I have no idea who makes it...so I guess you could say it's almost like it was thrifted...same concept of digging...except, you know, at a department store.  Regardless, this is one of my favorite dresses to throw on for nice, sunny days. It's a fun color, it's comfortable, and I look decently put together when I wear it.  I can't think of a better dress to sip cocktails by the beach in.

As I mentioned yesterday, we had some perfect weather this weekend and I had to take advantage.  Now that Spring is exactly one week away, California is super cold and windy.  I'm taking this as my cue to wear all my sweaters and faux fur until the warmth returns.


weekend snapshots

This weekend was a revitalizing, relaxing adventure--which is everything I needed.  My boyfriend's mom came into town, and the three of us spent the weekend eating delicious food, toasting with some good wine, and taking in San Diego's beautiful scenery.  It's really nice to get out of L.A. sometimes and just relax, away from (as much) traffic and people.  And obviously, we planned a girls' shopping trip for her next visit, much to Griffin's dismay I'm sure.

After his mom left, the beau and I made an impromptu day trip to Coronado. He always has the best ideas.
low tide at a beach in la jolla
a refreshing wine we had at eddie v's during dinner in la jolla
filling homecooked meal: steak grilled by the beau, broccolini and a loaded baked potato
spice farm at hotel de coronado
walking the boardwalk behind hotel del coronado
details: david yurman bracelet, michael kors watch, nordstrom ring, chanel bag, opi nails
seals sunbathing on a rock in la jolla
drinks and bar snacks at hotel de coronado
I hope everyone's weekend was as relaxing and fulfilling as mine. Here's to a productive week! I'll show you what I wore on my little Coronado getaway tomorrow.


color and patterns

[target tank and shoes, s.y.l.k. blazer, bdg jeans from urban outfitters, michael kors watch, david yurman bracelet, ring from lavish in crested butte, polo ralph lauren glasses, opi gel manicure, chanel lipcolor in superstition]

Yesterday was a chilly, dreary day in Southern California.  But with Spring weighing heavily on my mind, I had no intention of putting away my bright items.  I recently purchased this coral blazer from S.Y.L.K. in Century City, and I've already worn it a few times (similar styles here, here, and here).  I paired it with some comfortable basics of contrasting prints for work, and I wore it with a black lace top and black pumps for a night out with some of my girlfriends over the weekend.

I've also been obsessing over the gel manicure I got over the weekend.  It's the perfect color for Spring and the gel polish will last for a couple weeks.  What are you coveting this season?


the perfect egg sandwich

I'm a sucker for a great breakfast sandwich. Living in LA you can find many creative varieties--but I often prefer the simple ingredients.  On Saturday I made this sandwich which consisted of 2 eggs and some shredded cheese.

This bad boy took about a total of 10 minutes to make.  Next time I'd like to try a slice of cheese instead of shredded for extra cheesy goodness.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make one for dinner...