Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Going back to my roots...

My parents grew up in the same small town in North Dakota. My Mom grew up on a ranch and the above picture is actually my Mom with her sisters and cousins. How precious are their little boots?! I love them! I am taking my 9 month old with me on this trip to visit family. I am so anxious for him to see the miniature pony that my Aunt has, it's only 3 feet tall. Perfect for a darling photo op!

Since I will be gone for 10 days, I had to make sure to pack my essentials. Here are some things that I would never leave home without!

I adore Love Quotes scarves. I have about 4 of them and I use them constantly! I have the cotton ones, and they are wonderful for travel because you can either tie them around your neck, or use it as a wrap for when it is freezing (as airplanes usually are)! I had a hard timefinding the cotton online, but I found a ton of the Linen. Shopbop.com had the best color selection for $88

I swear, I never used to be a big J.Crew fan, but in the recent years I have come to love them! I believe they havea new designer, because their looks are completely different and aren't so "cookiecutter". Their "Jackie"cardigan is a must! It comes in an
array of colors and it's super soft cotton with a touch of lycra, so that it won'tstretch out. They wash up beautifully and have a perfect fitted silhouette. I throw them on over everything...from casual to dressy. If you want them, order quick, as they are on sale for 39.99!

My husband surprised me with these Tom Ford "Whitney" sunglasses for Christmas this year. I have a bit of a collection of shades and these have turned out to be my favorite out of all of them. What I love about them is that they are so light, you barely feel that they are on. They don't have any "bling", which I am not a huge fan of. They are the perfect shade of dark brown-so dark they almost look black. They also cover tired puffy eyes when your baby doesn't sleep all night!

My summer wardrobe is basically either dresses or white bottoms paired with tops. I LOVE my White Joe's Honey jeans. For those of you who may have a smaller waist and curvier hips and a booty, this jean is the best. In fact...they call it the Booty fit! No more gaping at the waist and it's comfy throug
h the hip and thighs. I wear them so much, I should really have 2 pairs.

I can't really show up without cowboy boots, right? On the left are my pair of Cowboy boots that I got at this amazing store, Nathalie, in Santa Fe. You better believe that little J also has a pair-courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa.

The Bigger, The Better

My sister-in-Law has twin girls and I used to laugh when I saw the beach tote she carried. It was big enough to carry both of her girls AND their beach stuff. Now that I have a child, I totally understand. If you are making a trip to the beach or pool, you need to come prepared. This means floaties, a water noodle, pails and shovels, snacks, change of clothes, cover-up, towels, suntan lotion...the list goes on and on! I don't always think that bigger is better, but in the case of a beach bag, I think it is! Here are some of my favorites:

Hable Construction makes this awesome "Picnic Tote", it would be great for that or just for your trips to the pool. It has 4 large outside pockets and the inside is wide and low which makes digging for your keys, cell phone or suntan lotion easy as pie!

You cannot pass up this over-sized Jute tote by Ballard Designs. A "House Beautiful" favorite, this bag is not only inexpensive ($29) but the monogramming is currently free! I love that it is made of Jute. This natural fabrication is super light-weight and totally beach (and kid) friendly. They have beautiful colors to choose from, and you can also specify the thread color for the monogramming.

You can't go wrong with the signature Boat and tote bag from L.L. Bean. They have been making this bag for years and it is truly the most durable and functional beach bag for your family. You can choose from a dozen accent colors, they can be monogrammed, AND, you can also specify if you want longer handles. It isn't the most gorgeous bag, but it will last for years and you won't worry if it gets spilled on or trashed by your little ones. The XL bag is $30...who doesn't love that?
I know, I know...this bag is not big, it's not functional, it's not cheap...but I had to throw it in there! It's a beautiful Ikat print, perfect for summer days and trips to the pool (without your kids, maybe?!) I would carry this bag every day...it's perfect! Oh, and right now it's on sale for $150 on Toryburch.com

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Who doesn't love feathers?

I posted about Early Jewelry before, but I had to write about her again because she just posted the MOST GORGEOUS Feather Earrings on her blog. I adore them and would like to make them mine, especially since I lost my favorite pair of feather earrings. AND...wouldn't the green ones look amazing with a white dress this summer?! Ahhhh...drooling over all 3 of these! Go to her blog to check out her newest creations.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Indigo Girl

Dear Forever 21,

Thank you for replacing your neon 80's merchandise with linen and flowy cotton in beautiful colors for summer. I am finally inspired...especially by your wide array of "indigo" colored items.  For me, it is the new "black". It's so neutral and it goes with everything! I especially love it paired with white, it's crisp and clean and I have always adored the Nautical look.

Here are some of my favorite items that I recently found at F21...

This ruffled crop jacket doesn't look like much in the picture, but on it is absolutely adorable. Throw this on over a simple black dress or with white pants and a tank and you can take your plain outfit to spectacular. It has a high, dramatic collar and it sits right under the bust line. It's a great deal at $24.80

This is the CUTEST summer dress. It is super light weight cotton that wraps and ties on the side. In person it is on the shorter side, and for those of you who prefer black, it does come in that as well. It would be a great piece to wear to a bridal shower or a rehearsal dinner. It's flowy and cool for these hot summer nights we've been having. It's also under $30!

 Everybody should own this linen skirt. It is the type of piece that you could throw on for casual with just a tank top and flat sandals or you could dress it up with a crisp blouse and heels for the office. It comes with this great black belt that I will definitely be wearing with other things.  It can (and should) be yours for $22.80

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A kid in a candy store

One of my fondest memories of childhood was when me and my girlfriends would get on our bikes and ride down to our local market. With $2 and
change in hand, I would peruse the aisles searching for the perfect assortment of candy. I loved every minute of it. The bright colors and enticing packaging all at eye level to lure this sweet-toothed 7 year old. Now that I am an adult I have found a new "candy" to shop for...it's called cosmetics.

It's like a drug, I swear. I get all glazed over and overwhelmed when I shop for cosmetics. I remember my first experience at Henri Bendel in New York. They have the most wonderful assortments of lines, so beautifully displayed like a candy store for beauty crazed women. I couldn't decide what to try, so I accepted the first invitation from a man who couldn't wait to "makeover" this tired, travel worn, Midwestern girl. It took 45 minutes for him to transform me from plain to sultry, all with a smoky eye and great eyeliner. I was sold...and from then on I would never look at makeup the same.

Since I have moved from Chicago to Kansas shopping in general has been underwhelming. There is no Bloomingdale's, Barney's or Michigan Avenue for that matter...But, occasionally there is a diamond in the rough. I found that this week with a trip to Beauty Brands-my go-to for hair and nail products. I was so thrilled to find that they had brought in new cosmetics and skin-care lines...Tarte, Stila, Smashbox, DuWop...I was in heaven!!!!

The line that I am going to touch on today is Tarte. Maureen Kelly, a beauty fanatic started the line after being frustrated with not being able to find healthy, nourishing cosmetics. 10 years later, the line has the widest selection of natural cosmetics complete with their patented "skinvigorating ingredients". The line also prides themselves on runway-inspired cases and compacts that are made using recycled post consumer products.

My first purchase from Tarte was their cheek stain. This product is amazing. It goes on sheer and even and gives you the perfect "flushed" cheek. They have multiple shades to choose from and let me tell you they last FOREVER.

Their eyelash curler gives the famous Shu Eumura curler a run for their money. The design is the first ergonomically correct eyelash curler. It has an easy-grip handle that makes it simple and comfortable to use. My favorite part is that it's only $15! You can't beat that!

I am sure you have all owned oil blotting papers or a shine free powder. Well, Tarte has taken this to the next level with their T-Zone travel Shine Control to go. This perfect little case comes complete with blotting papers AND mattifying powder. It's just the right size to throw into your handbag, so that you can always keep your "shine" under control.

It's finally Summer and time to bust out your dresses, skirts and shorts. Tarte makes a product that can make your legs look taut and tan all summer long. It's called Glam Gams-a bronzing stick that glides on and blends in to give you a perfect tan glow that makes you look like you've spent hours in the sun.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

There is a fashion God...

ladies, please...sit down (I don't want you to faint) and cross your legs (you wouldn't want to pee your pants). On November 14th you will be able to get Jimmy Choo at H&M. NO LIE!  My insider shared some photos with me that not only will entice you, but will also make you block off that day and if you are like me, plan a roadtrip to your nearest H&M! I can hardly wait, I am already losing sleep over it...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A beach wedding in September...what to wear?!

A good friend of mine came to me with some fashion advice...a wedding on the beach, in September, and she wants to wear yellow. She also wanted some ideas for her kids because she would like them to coordinate. I put my Scout skills to the test and this is what I found for her.

I had originally picked a cute J.Crew dress for her-which she ordered. Come to find out it is a little bit see-thru. So, I am giving her another option. I went to good old Forever 21 for this darling cotton dress. It's got spaghetti straps and some pleats at the waist to give her a flattering shape. The dress was a bargain at $15.80, so I figured she could maybe splurge on the accessories. I adore this necklace from Kenneth Jay Lane. This is a piece that she could go back to time and time again because it's just a fabulous pop of color. For a beach wedding I thought an Espadrille sandal would be appropriate. I like this one from J.Crew because it has a touch of metallic which dresses it up a bit(it's also on sale! yay!) The clutch is from Rafe and is on sale at Piperlime for $169
 down from $295. This bag would be great with ANY summer outfit, not just this yellow dress.

A beach wedding

For the kiddos I suggested a couple of things for her. For a little girl you can't go wrong with Lily Pulitzer. They have great colors and really sweet silhouettes for the little ones. I fell in love with this shift dress for her daughter. It is $68 on LillyPulitzer.com

I also found this darling seersucker dress from Polo.com -on sale for $29. Add a bright colored grosgrain ribbon as a sash and you have the perfect outfit!

For her son, I think that Vineyard Vines would be really cute. I love their stuff because it's classic with a touch of prep. I picture this outfit accessorized with the whale belt and sleeves rolled up. Best thing is, he could wear this outfit again to a family function or to church.

I also put together a 2nd outfit for my friend-with the original J.Crew dress (except in coral) My suggestion to her to make it less see through would be a product from Spanx called Higher Power. It goes from underneath your bust to a mid-thigh. This product shapes your middle AND your thighs...its' great! But, could you imagine anything more hot or uncomfortable during a beach wedding?! Ugh! I am a huge fan of Spanx though...GREAT product.

Monday, June 15, 2009

And the winner is...

Jackie from one of my favorite blogs, Sweetie Pie Pumpkin Noodle! Your name was chosen from the owner of Skidnees! You will be getting the 3 styles that you mentioned as your faves. Please contact me with your address!

thanks everyone for participating! I can't wait to do it again!

Who's Your Daddy?

Father's Day is less than a week away. I am the terrible wife/mother/daughter who is yet to buy a gift, but I have some ideas in my arsenal and I thought I would share them with you all. It's funny because I asked my husband what he wanted for Father's Day and his response..."a breakfast buffet". No surprise considering he's got the appetite of a small village! I will be putting together this buffet, but I will also include a little something for him. After all...he is the father of my child and he has put in his fair share of diaper changing and middle of the night wakings. If you are having some trouble coming up with gift ideas, here are a few of mine...

If you are shopping for a guy that has more products in his vanity then you do, look no further than Jack Black products. They are fabulous grooming products that any man would love. One of their best items is their Beard Lube. It's a pre-shave oil, shave cream and skin treatment that is specially formulated for men's shaving needs. Their all over wash is great for a man who doesn't want to fuss with body wash, shampoo and face wash. I personally love their gift set for $45 it has a sampling of their top products and is perfect for travel.

Does your man love to get dressed up? Does he actually LIKE to shop? If so, you can never go wrong with a shirt from Thomas Pink. This London based shirt maker is known for their gorgeous fabrics and perfect tailored fit. Their high-end Italian fabrics and impeccable construction make these shirts on the more expensive side. But, they are well worth it and will last longer than your typical Brooks Brothers shirt that you buy off the rack.

To compliment the shirt, you may want to include a pair of cufflinks. I bought these for my husband last year for Christmas and they were a huge hit. They are monogrammed cufflinks that are also a locket. A tip-if you order digital photos from Shutterfly, they include a sheet with really small images that you have ordered. These fit perfectly into the locket. Your husband/dad will be proud to show off all the pictures that you include in these unique cufflinks!
The grill Daddy will make any man in your life VERY HAPPY. This very cool tool cleans the grill with ease and looks a bit like some heavy duty artillery. It uses a forceful spray of water along with a bristle brush to clean the grill with ease. My husband owns one and I can always tell he gets really excited to use this before he grills. It is $25 and you can get it at your local Hardware store.

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Father's Day with that special man in your life.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Skidnees Baby Leggings Give-away

Ok Ladies, it's Scout's first official giveaway! My girl over at Skidnees has graciously offered to give a Scout follower 3 pairs of Skidnees Baby Leggings (we have both boy and girl patterns).  If you have never owned a pair, they are fabulous. They are comfortable and stylish for your little guy or gal that is on-the-go. I find them to be much better than pants when your little one is learning to crawl because they don't ride up when they are trying to move. They are also just TOO CUTE once you get them on, I find them absolutely irresistible!

So, head to Stringbean Co and check out their selection and then comment below with what your favorite pair of baby leggings would be. I will pick a winner on Monday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Deck out the kiddos-starting at $5!

O.k. bargain hunters...my peeps over at H&M (my FAVE, FAVE, FAVE-too bad we don't have one in KC!) gave me the inside scoop that their summer sale for kids is starting TOMORROW. Best part is, prices start at $5. Seriously, you can't beat that for things that they will be rolling in sand, kool-aid and popsicles in for the next few months. 

I personally love this bikini with Cherry Accent and these adorable hibiscus print board shorts. So, call your babysitter so you can make this trip alone. You have some SERIOUS shopping to do!

For more details visit hm.com

Monday, June 8, 2009

Future Mom in Manolo's

Is your pregnant friend always ahead of the fashion curve? Does she still rock her stiletto's even while pregnant? This type of friend is not the easiest to shop for...she will have high standards, and you better believe she's not putting her kid in anything from Carter's.  If you need some extraordinary gift ideas, look no further. I've scouted out some great ideas for you!

Bloch-the maker of ballet shoes since 1932 has launched a baby line. Made of luxurious Italian leather, and expertly crafted for comfort and style, and designed to protect a baby's growing feet. These shoes could not be more adorable. Even if they don't get a lot of wear, they would make a perfect addition to a shelf in the babies nursery. My personal favorites are the pair with Cherries on them or the ruffle front in pink sheepskin.  In the USA, there aren't many retailers that have them yet. The 2 stores that I found you can purchase online were Madison & Friends and Oh Baby Austin

You can never go wrong with buying someone a book. My favorite for fashionista friends is called This Little Piggy Went to Prada. This darling book takes classic nursery rhymes and turns them into tongue-in-cheek fun stories tailored to your oh-so-chic BFF. The illustrations are just gorgeous. It is the perfect addition to any nursery and will without a doubt receive oohs and aahs at your next baby shower. If you live in Kansas City, this book is available at Lauren Alexandra.

Who doesn't love being in head to toe Cashmere? Your friend will adore you if you pick up some 3 ply for her baby as well.  Eye Spy makes interesting Cashmere ensembles for boys and girls. I personally love this one-piece with striped footies at the bottom. It comes in Aqua blue and a shade of Lilac, perfect for a little boy or girl. You can find this and other pieces from the brand on Milkshop.com 


Mrs John L. Strong, maker of exquisite stationary is sadly going out of business. BUT, Best & Co (in Bergdorf Goodman) is still carrying some of their items.  A posh mommy will adore these Playdate Invitations. Could you imagine getting one in the mail? How regal would that be?! It's perfect for the Mom who has everything!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A summer wedding, a stylish affair...

I am sitting in front of my computer with puffy eyes, no voice and a champagne withdrawal. All results of a FABULOUS, fun-filled wedding weekend in Michigan.

The backdrop was this...the Country Club of Detroit. A very traditional club nestled in the trees of Grosse Pointe, Michigan. So traditional actually that you still have to wear all white to play tennis there. It had a wonderful retro feel and it was the perfect setting for E & T's preppy pink and green themed wedding. The groomsmen wore Vineyard Vines cummerbund and Bow Ties and the bridesmaids were decked in adorable peridot green dresses from J.Crew. The bride was stunning in a Lace and Tulle gown with one of the prettiest lace trimmed Spanish style veils I have seen. The decor was all shades of pink and green, complete with palm trees, candle light and my favorite flowers, peonies and hydrangeas.

As I looked around the room I started to notice something...there was not a fashion catastrophe in sight! No crazy aunt in some terrible colored polyester suit. There was no cousin who came to the event in Jeans (yes, I've seen this before). There was also nobody in something too short or too tight or too revealing...all I saw was a sea of impeccably dressed and stylish guests.

I know, this may sound trivial, but I was seriously impressed. It made me happy to see people put some effort into their fashion choices and to step out of the box of typical "wedding" attire.
I saw a woman with the most interesting black patent gladiator type heels with a big pink bow on the back...amazing. There was a gentleman who wore a white dinner jacket and tortoise shell glasses, very Ralph Lauren. There was a girl in a stunning navy blue dress with a sea of ruffles on the bottom ( I should have asked her who it was by!!!). Another girl had on a black dress that had feathers all along the bottom. She took the LBD and made it completely unique! My good friends who were there did not disappoint in the style department either...

My friend Meredith who has a closet that I could raid and find a million things I love wore the most amazing dress to the rehearsal dinner. The brand is Thread Social, they make some of the most gorgeous and unique dresses I have seen. Every girl was oohing and aahing over it, and with good reason. It's a show-stopper! I am sorry to report that this dress is TOTALLY SOLD OUT...I already tried looking for it myself. But, I would keep checking back to their website because they did this particular style in multiple colors last spring, so maybe they will decide to bring it back.

My friend Winnie wore a GORGEOUS vintage Emma Domb floral dress that she got at Lulu's at the Belle Kay in Chicago. We were giggling as we got ready, because she was having a bit of a June Carter-Cash moment in the long rose printed dress with ruffles at the neck. With her hair swept up off her neck and with long white chandelier earrings, she could not have looked more stunning.

Yours truly-pictured to the right wore a "sort of vintage" dress. It's a 3 year old gown that is one of my favorites. I don't have many places to wear it, because it is full length. It has all my favorite colors and the bottom swirls and moves beautifully when you walk or dance. I was so glad to be able to wear it again to this wedding.

Some fabulous shoes were spotted too...This time I made sure to ask what they were. Check out these knock-outs by L.A.M.B. They have a feather detail back complete with Pailettes. This shoe would take a simple black dress to the next level. Where can you get these lovely shoes? None other than one of my fave stores...shopbop

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Follow-Up Post: The look for less

My friend Veronica really loved my last post, especially the outfit that had the racerback tank. Unfortunately, she didn't want to shell out the $160 that it cost AND she thought it might be a little too young for her.

If I were close to 50, I would always think to myself...WWMPF...What would Michelle Pfeiffer do? She's classy and beautiful and always looks age appropriate. She was my inspiration when I put this next look together.

 I found some REALLY cute tanks that are bra friendly and that look great with the white skinny jeans I posted before. The best selection of tanks that were novel and well priced were at J.Crew. In the last 2 years they have really stepped up their style and diversity in their selection.  Both tops retail for under $80. If you are worried about arm coverage, a nice alternative to a cardigan is a linen scarf. My go-to scarves are from Love Quotes. They are not cheap-close to $80, but they are well worth it. I wear them with everything from dresses to tanks and jeans. It is a good accessory to invest in because of all the things you can put them with.

I wanted to find some accessories that were more reasonable and that would retail for under $50. I found sandals similar to the Loeffler Randall pair for less than $30! The handbag is a grey pleated clutch, which is a great color for summer and for fall, this beauty retails for only $42.  Forever 21 can have some great jewelry finds, these dangle earrings retail for $5.80!!!

It is easy to spend a lot of money on clothes, it is definitely more challenging to find the look for less. If you want me to scout something out for you, please comment below!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Have a wardrobe full of Leopard print? You may be a Cougar...

My friend Veronic is single and over 40 and out on the dating scene. The last thing she wants to be considered is a "cougar". I have offered my style assistance to come up with some great looks for her that are sophisticated and modern without looking like she's trying too hard.

Things to stay away from: too much animal print, jewel encrusted halter tops, skirts that are too short, too much cleavage and jeans that reveal your undergarments...this doesn't look good on ANYONE. If your clothing resembles the real housewives of Orange County you may want to do a wardrobe overhaul.

You should start with basics that fit impeccably and then work around those. Invest in great black and white pants and a great pair of dark jeans to start. You should also have a black pencil skirt or A-line skirt and one black dress that can go dressy if needed. Also, buy 2 dresses; one for summer and one for fall that you can wear to a engagement party, a work function or a nice dinner out. Once you have the core basics you can build around them with statement pieces like a great printed blouse from Diane Von Furstenburg or a wonderful jacket from Alice + Olivia. Accessories will play a huge part too. They can take your outfit from simple to outstanding just by adding a fabulous pair of shoes or a statement necklace.

I personally love Theory for your basics. The quality is great, the fit is unreal and they hug your body in all of the right places.

Once you have these basics, you can work with them to create a sophisticated evening look. Pair your black pants or jeans with a sexy white shirt or drapey silk tank. This is also the opportunity to bust out your gorgeous "specialty" shoes and satin evening clutch. You don't have to reserve those things for a wedding or dressy event, they look just as great paired with your skinny dark jeans.

This top from Robert Rodriguez paired with a great fitting black pant is an appriate look for a woman in their 30's or 40's. It's simple yet stunning and has incredible detail.

The best advice I can give is to focus on fit first. If an item doesn't fit well, you will never wear it. Also, don't buy items that you can't get a lot of use out of. If something is too boldly printed or has too much embellishment, you will tire of it easily. And most importantly, you can look sexy without revealing everything. Classy is always better than Trashy. Check out some of the looks below that I put together for my friend via Polyvore.


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