Friday, May 29, 2009

Turn your inspiration into an Illustration

I have always been a very visual person. I loved making collages out of fashion magazines when I was young and even when I was a clothing buyer, I often used trend boards and photos for inspiration for my buys.  I have recently discovered a "virtual" way of turning my fashion inspirations into an actual visual representation.  It can all be done on a wonderful site called Polyvore.

You create a "set" which is comprised of backgrounds and any items that you may want to add via different shopping websites. There are probably a million items to choose from. Anything from shoes, handbags, cosmetics, different fonts, fabric swatches and clothing. All to help you complete your virtual trend board.  As a creative person who loves fashion, this is like a dream come true!!!

The site is unbelievably easy to navigate and once you create a "set" it will be saved to your account. When your set is done and published to the site, it lists all of the items you used on  your set and what websites you can purchase them from. It's like having a personal shopper online!!!

If you are looking for a little inspiration for a special event, comment below or on Scout's Facebook page and I will put together a Polyvore set for you.  The set that I am going to post was inspired by a friend who is taking a trip to Miami.  If you want to see some of my other creations you can go to

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

cool stuff for cool moms

Mommy Calling Card from Oh Smile on Etsy-$85 for 300

Ever gone to the park or gymboree and met another mom that you just "click" with and you can't wait to exchange info so that you can plan your next playdate? Well, I have the perfect thing for you to make networking with other mom's that much easier. It's called the Mommy calling card. List your name, your kids names (optional) your phone and email and it has all the info you need to pass on to your new Mom BFF. Your local stationary store can put them together for you, but I also found a bunch on Etsy that were super cute.

MomAgenda's Faux Croc Planner-$45

I only have one child and I feel like I am always putting my dayplanner to use. Between doctor appointments, my appointments, playdates etc. I really have to stay on top of our schedule. There is a brilliant product that can keep you and your family organized at all times, it is called the Mom Agenda. They make a wonderful dayplanner that has space for you and then spaces for 3 kids at the bottom. this helps you distinguish between your busy schedule, soccer games and school events all on one page! It's genious! My friend Susan is a huge fan of their kitchen folio. This organizer will organize all of your kids school info including homework, projects and arwork. It also holds all the important info that you need at your fingertips like Doctor and health info, babysitter information, takeout menus, etc.

I love this photo of LeSportSac from the early 80's and today!

You can take a girl out of the 80's, but you can't take the 80's out of the girl. After all of these years I still love LeSportSac Bags. I don't know what it is...the bright colors? The funky prints? The fact that they can get dirty and you can just wipe them off or throw them in the laundry? I own 2 of them currently and they are the best for travel, because they are so light-weight and have tons of pocket space. I personally think they are wonderful when you have kids because they won't show wear and tear and because they are so light you can tote around all the kid junk without breaking your back. Stella McCartney did an amazing collection for them this fall and right now they are having a 35th Anniversary collection. I personally love the Fifi Lapin artist collection-great colors and really interesting prints.

Ray Ban's oversized aviators range from $149 to $179

After a night of sitting up with a screaming baby or taking care of a sick toddler, you may wake up with eyes that are too scary to show in public. Ladies, a great pair of sunglasses is essential. For me, the bigger the better. I can hide the bags and bloodshot eyes and also not apply any makeup that day and still feel somewhat ok to make a run to Target or the Grocery store. Right now I am loving Ray-Ban. Super classic, light-weight and they don't cost $300. They are unisex too, so you can tell your husband you can share them (but really steal them and store them in your handbag).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Neutral Nail-Essie Style

Oh, how I long for the days of getting manicured every week by the ladies at Crystal Nails in Chicago (the best by the way, if you live in the Windy City). I will indulge in a pedicure to keep the toes in tact, but as far as my nails go, I have learned to maintain them on my own. Thank God for Essie!!!! A line of nail polish known for their wide range of kitschy named neutral tones as well as colorful candy tones to brighten up your toes, I have been a fan for years and absolutely love their product.

Before I talk color, there are a few things you need for your at home manicure. You must have a great base coat, file and clippers. I cannot live without Duri rejuvecoat. Recommended by a manicurist in Chicago, this product literally transformed my nails from short and brittle to long, thick and healthy.

For filing, I have found that Essie's crystal file really does the trick. It files down really clean and it won't need to be tossed out every few months because it is a crystal. This file also helps to prevent splitting and peeling.

For clipping, I love the products from Ms.Manicure. They have a great handle that won't slip and they clip with ease. They make really cute little sets that will give you all the tools you would need for your at-home manicure. I found the best selection of their products on

If you love a neutral nail that looks polished and sophisticated, I have the perfect color combos that you can easily do at home. Your 3 starter colors should be in order of the pics above: 1.Ballet Slipers, 2. Mademoiselle and 3. Waltz.
Ballet Slippers is a soft opaque pink that looks great when done in 2 coats. Mademoiselle is a perfect sheer pink that I use combined with Waltz as well as a creamy white called Marshmallow. Waltz is a great base for any of their pink shades, it gives the nail a perfect opaqueness when paired with another color.

once you have the basics, here are some combos you can add to your repertoire:
Limo-scene (sheer pastel pink) and Sugar Daddy (sugary sweet sheer pink)
Mademoiselle and It's in the Bag (creamy ivory with a touch of pink)
Ballet Slippers and Dune Road (a shimmery pink-great for summer)
*these colors look very similar in person, but once you try them on you will see they all have a different hue and look totally different on the nail.

I purchase Essie from my favorite spot for beauty products, Beauty Brands. BUT, if you don't have a store near you, you can also find them on

Ode to the Olsen's

Photo courtesy of

I admit it, I love the Olsen Twins. I think they are beautiful, intriguing and most of all innovative. Ever since they were photographed while getting their stars on the walk of fame, draped in vintage EVERYTHING, I was smitten. The picture above is one of my very faves, I totally knocked off Ashley's haircut after seeing this. We all know these girls are a little bit crazy, that is evident. To me it only makes them more mysterious and attractive.

I have a new found admiration of them after seeing them on Oprah last year. They were promoting their new book titled, Influence. I was pleasantly surprised to see them so poised, and dare I say intelligent?! They are true business women. From a very young age they have focused on their "brand" and currently their venture into the fashion industry, and that is why they have millions in the bank. They are not your typical Hollywood starlets. They aren't always perfectly coiffed, they often looked as if they just rolled out of bed. They have a personal style that is a mix between old Hollywood glamour and west coast bohemian. They are muses for this generation and I think that their mark on fashion is just beginning.

Before I talk about the clothes, I need to talk about their book, Influence. It is a stunning and very well executed coffee table book. Filled with pages of interviews, personal photographs and a documentary of all the things that have influenced their lives over the years, I could not get enough! The photographs are truly beautiful and the interviews are insightful and personal. A few of my faves were Diane Von Furstenburg (personal style hero of mine), Bob Colacello (editor of Interview Mag from 1971-1983 and Warhol's right hand man during the Factory days) and Karl Lagerfeld who is such a private person, but truly opened up to the girls in his interview. This book is a must if you love Art, Fashion and culture.

The twins launched their label, Elizabeth and James and it quickly caught on with high end retailers like Intermix, Bloomingdales and Shopbop. The line is a beautiful mix of masculine and feminine styles mixed with a touch of vintage chic. The line has impeccable construction and many of their pieces would be perfect staples in anyone's wardrobe. I personally love how the line is a lot of basics with a twist, the small tailoring details make their pieces unique and beautiful. The line is on the higher-end, but, as I mentioned before their pieces are sophisticated basics that you would never tire of. I have a dear friend who is the buyer/manager of Bop (the storefront for and she gave me a few of their top items that are flying out the doors.

The unconstructed "boyfriend" blazer is the new jacket silhouette. I like how they paired it with shorts for an easy summer look, but of course you can always wear it with jeans. This jacket retails at $395 at

I absolutely adore this dress. It is super soft Jersey on the bottom with an elastic bodice. In all black it looks quite dressy, despite the casual fabrication they used. I personally would do it in Grey, I love the color combination and it would be fun to wear out in the evening without looking too dressy. This is also $285 on

This blouse is a great example of their simple but sophisticated styling that make their items so beautiful. I love the pleating detail and the v-neck is perfect for pairing your favorite necklaces with. Normally it is $295, but currently it is on sale for $206.50 at

Sunday, May 17, 2009

All "Dressed" Up-under $100!

"The Dress", It's pretty much my staple for summer. It's cool during humid summer days, easy to throw on, and for me SO comfortable. I have found some great casual dresses that would be great for lunch with your girlfriends or a dinner date with your husband. Best part is, they are all under $100!

UK's affordable and ever so stylish TopShop now has a website available for shoppers in the US. They are a bit more innovative and fashion forward than our stores and I can always find great things on their site. I fell in love with this Aqua and White Cotton Poplin dress. I own a VERY similar style from Theory, and their dresses sell for close to $300. This darling summer frock will set you back only $90! Also-think of dresses as your top AND $90 that is a steal for your whole outfit!

Drooling and dying over this dress. This orange and white zip-front dress, also from Topshop is cutout in the back to show off your sexy shoulders. It also has a tie detail in the back. I could hardly believe when I looked at the price...$65!!!!

Good Old Forever 21 had GREAT dresses. I absolutely love this slightly bohemian style with embroidery. Perfect paired with your flat strappy sandals and colorful bangles. This is great for your neighborhood art festival or a sitting outside having drinks with the girls. At $22.80, you can also invest in those amazing Sigerson Morrison sandals you've been eyeing all spring.

Another great Forever 21 find, this Pintucked and Ruffled dress is a bargain at $39.80. It's 100% silk and has a self tie that can be removed and replaced with a great belt. I adore this Kelly Green color, but it is also available in Golden Yellow and coral. Hey, at this price, why not get all 3?!

Lastly, I couldn't help but include a shoe that would go with all 4 of these dresses. I am a huge fan of a "neutral" shoe. it doesn't take away from your outfit and it will go with everything! This summer sandal has just enough detail to make it interesting and the color is perfect for all of your summer dresses. I kept with my "cheap and chic" theme...they are only $59.50 on Piperlime.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Double Trouble

A good friend of mine is soon to become the mom of twins-one boy, one girl. My oh-so creative friend at a great blog called the Party Dress put together the most darling idea for a twin shower! With all this twin talk, I was inspired to write about great gifts for twins. I did some research and I found REALLY cute things. Here are some of my favorites. You can find all of my picks on Etsy!

Designer ChickyBird makes the most cozy and warm baby hats with earflaps. I purchased one last winter and it was the best investment I made. My little guy was born in September, so he needed a little hat all winter long. Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in an earflap hat...even if it's just for a photo-op! They can be customized by color and the hat is available without ties. One in pink and one in blue would be perfect for the twins.

Personalized gifts are always a hit. I love these prints by Nella Designs. You can choose the image, the background color and of course you customize with the names of your choice. At $19.50 for an 8x10 print (no frame), it is the perfect, affordable gift!!!

Anyone with children knows you can't have enough bibs. If you are looking for a cute add-on for a shower gift, these twin bibs from Bean Pickle Sprout are very unique and too cute for boy and girl twins! She also makes onesies with birds on them that are absolutely adorable and only $12!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sun-Goddess Style

I am without a doubt a sun-goddess. I prefer a beach vacation over sight-seeing, I can lay for hours soaking up the sun, and I love nothing more than a perfect bronze tan during summer. Now that I am a mom, my sun time has definitely decreased. But, I have not given up my stylish pool attire. I love a great cover-up, and I have been known to match my towel to my swimsuit of the season. I found some great items that will make you feel wonderful even though you will be coated in sand, Popsicles and sweaty kids all summer long...

A couple of years ago, Rachel Zoe and her husband Rodger did a feature of their home in Vogue. I distinctly remember a shot of them lounging by their pool on gorgeous Missoni towels. Since then, I have been obsessed with Missoni linens. Made of super soft Terry, and using their distinct zig zag-pattern and vibrant colors, Missoni has taken the beach towel to the next level. I HAVE TO HAVE this beach tote. It's Terry cloth as well and plastic lined-perfect for toting leaky suntan lotion bottles and juice boxes for the kids! has the most fabulous selection of Missoni's towels and Beach Bags.

A cute cover up is a MUST for summer. has the most gorgeous selection of them, probably the best that I have ever seen. I adore this one by Diane Von Furstenburg. The queen of sophisticated prints and vibrant colors, DVF always stands out with her distinct style. This silk-chiffon beauty is almost too pretty for the public pool, but you would definitely be a hot mama sporting this! It is an investment at $285 for the Nobi Runway cover up, but, it would be a standout piece in your summer wardrobe.

If you have not purchased a pair of Havianas flip flops yet, you are seriously missing out. Born in Brazil in 1962, Havaianas has built their popularity on a super comfy and light-weight sole made out of special rubber. They come in a huge range of colors and use their signature printed "top" of the flip flop to make them more stylish. My favorite is the slim season. They have a super slim thong that makes it feel like you have nothing on your feet!

If you are spending hours in the sun, you want to make sure to keep your skin safe from the UV rays. ColoreScience makes a wonderful product that I will not leave home without. I got a facial at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples Florida and the aesthetician recommended this to me. It is a mineral based SPF powder that comes in a wonderful tube/brush applicator. Put it on like you would your normal powder and it is WATERPROOF and it gives
you a nice shine-free face that you certainly don't get with lotion. It is $60 for A .23 oz tube, but it goes a long way and will last you an entire summer!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Jewelry Obsession-Early Jewelry

You know when you find something so beautiful, unique and special and you just HAVE TO HAVE IT?! that is the way I feel about Early Jewelry. Lawrence, Kansas based designer, Kylie Grater takes her rural upbringing, combined with worldy travels to create her one of a kind pieces.

I was so excited to see her full-line on display at my hair salon, The Darling Room during First Friday in downtown Kansas City. I didn't purchase anything because I was so overwhelmed, I saw way too many things that I just fell in love with. She combines really interesting elements to make up her necklaces. I was coveting a long chain made of leather and silver with a feather and a stone that hung from it. I really should have purchased it then because her pieces cannot be duplicated, so once it is sold, it is gone! I also adore her rings, which are made of vintage cufflinks.

Early Jewelry is also focused on being environmentally conscious. She looks to nature for a lot of her materials as well as using recycled items and castouts to make new jewelry. How can you not appreciate a "green" jewelry designer?

I was thrilled to find out that Kylie is a blogger too! Her blog is dedicated to 300 days of new jewelry as an expansion of her current line. So, there are constantly new pieces to choose from. You better believe I am checking daily, in hopes to find the perfect piece for me!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cheap and Chic Volume 1

I am so excited to finally write about "cheap and chic" style. If you know me at all, you know that I am a bargain hunter. Now, let me rephrase this...I don't like "sale" shopping, but I do love scouting out stores like Forever 21, Target, Old Navy or H&M for GREAT fashion at even better prices. My personal style is mixing high and low. There is nothing wrong with mixing your Forever 21 frock with a great pair of Marc Jacobs flats and your YSL Handbag. If anything, it makes it more interesting and creative. I had a hard time narrowing down my 3 picks this week, there are a lot of great bargains to be had!

I am always in search of the perfect tee shirt. After working in retail for so many years, I got accustomed to the quality of brands like James Perse, C&C California and Splendid. But, do I really want to spend $60 on something that gets spit up on everyday? No...not really...So, I was thrilled to stumble upon the Mossimo Supply Co. Boyfriend Tee at Target. It has a perfect short cap sleeve, it's slim enough through the body and just long enough to go over the waist-band of your low jeans. It's also super soft and washes up great. The price...only $8! Pick them up when you see them, as they sell fast!

Target did a great knock-off of one of myfavorite summer sandal by Dolce Vita. Normally the sandal runs $45, but you can get an exact look-alike for $14.99! I personally love the gold, it goes with EVERYTHING. Even though I usually detest white shoes, the white could be cute with jeans.

Forever 21...I love this store...I love it because I can get the current trends at a very low price. I think this tunic/dress is absolutely wonderful. You get the dress AND the belt for $22.99! I would put it with a pair of skinny jeans and my gold Tory Burch flats. Pair it with a great chunky necklace and you can really complete the look.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Retire your Juicy Sweats and graduate to Hard Tail!

We all own a set of Juicy Couture sweats. They are comfortable, they come in pretty colors, and EVERYONE wears them...including 15 year olds with "Juicy" written on their behinds. I decided it was time to retire them and move into something more comfortable, functional and less expensive. My new SAHM wardrobe is going to be by Hard Tail!

If you attended Indiana University in the mid 90's, you would remember Hard Tail. Every girl wore the ribbed drawstring pant that stretched SO bad that you would be dragging the hem underneath your Steve Madden platform shoes at the end of the day. Well, you will be glad to know that Hard Tail has moved on from this pant and now makes the best comfy yoga/everyday wear that you can find. I am going to give you a few of their "Must-Haves" to start you off.

The Roll-Down Pant-I have been wearing this pant for YEARS. I love it because it is wonderful to workout in, but also doubles as a great run-around pant. The great thing about this pant is that the leg is long enough so that they don't shrink in the wash. These pants also wash up AMAZING, you would be surprised how long they hold their color and their shape. I wore these pants the whole time I was pregnant too. The rolldown waist fit perfectly under my large prego belly. It comes in great basic colors, and recently they have added a more novelty pant with a tie-dye waist. My favorite colors are Black, Navy, Chocolate and Bat Black-which is a grey tone. The pant is $62 which is an investment, but they do last way longer than any other yoga pant I have purchased.

Long Shirred V-Neck Tank with Bra-These tanks are amazing. First of all, they have a shelf bra which is extra support if you don't feel like wearing another bra underneath. Second, they run long, so with the slim roll-down pant, you can have a top that is a little longer. These tanks are made of a super soft, yet sturdy cotton so that they won't stretch out or tear over time. Again, I wore this tank pregnant, because it was long enough to cover my belly!

Wraps-They make a collection of wraps that you can tie over your tank tops. I like to wrap them all the way around and tie in the back-sort of like a Ballet top. They give you the arm coverage and you can throw them over any of their pretty, soft colored tanks. I also like that they are a different alternative to a zip hoodie.

My sister in law runs the best store here in Kc called Steel Ballet, and they have an amazing selection of Hard Tail. They also have a website, check them out:

Monday, May 4, 2009

An ode to creative Mom's

Being a Mom is hard enough...add being a business owner on top of that and you are pretty much a "Super Mom"! I am priveliged to know 2 amazing Mom's and one Mom to be that have created some wonderful products that you are sure to love.

My cousin, Soni is a mom of two darling girls and owner of Stringbean Co., a company which features items like baby-leg warmers, capes for kids, baby wraps and aprons. I have been fortunate to test out her products and they are wonderful. The quality and design is thoughtful and creative. She has spent much time and effort in perfecting her products and it shows! If you want to check out her items, check out her website.

My sorority sister, Krista, who is a current Mom-to-be illustrated the most gorgeous children's book titled Alphabetica. This wonderful book is an ode to the Alphabet, containing poems and colorful artwork that accompanies them. It is a fun and creative way to teach your children their ABC's! It is the perfect addition to any child's book collection. Alphabetica is currently sold in Pottery Barn Kids stores or you can purchase online at

Rachel, an old co-worker of mine is a mother of 2 beautiful girls and also the owner of Lu-Lu-Lop. Her hot item is her stylish burp cloths that roll up and close with a button and elastic closure-perfect to throw in your handbag or baby bag.  I own 3 of them and I really can't have enough!!! She also makes an apron top for little girls. The fabrics are beautiful and colorful and most of all unique! You can find all her items online at:

These are her darling apron tops!


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