Thursday, December 29, 2011

My new bag - I think

I'm pretty sure I've picked out my next bag.  I'm not sure I'm going to buy it right away - I'll think about it for a couple of days.

I was a big fan of the Kate Spade Scout bag I posted yesterday.  But I kept thinking about a bag available from crewcuts (J. Crew kids section).  It's a satchel from the Cambridge Satchel Company, and crewcuts offers it in hot pink and lime green.  I just love that pink!

It's $170 from crewcuts, but I wanted to see if I could find a better deal.  I found them a little cheaper direct from the Cambridge Satchel Company, but I also found another color that I'm absolutely salivating over.

That rich, mustard is so gorgeous.  The only problem is that it's super popular, and not available on the website.  I found one place that offers it at a great price, but it's pictured without a strap.  Weird.  I'm sure it actually comes with a strap, but I'll look a little harder before taking the plunge.

I'm thinking the 15" is the way to go, to hold my laptop if I want it to.  But then I remember that I was looking for a smallish bag to begin with.  I still have some things to consider I guess.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Holidays!

It's three days after Christmas, my champagne headache is finally gone, and I'm still psyched as hell over my gifts.  And we're not even done yet (we'll exchange with our parents and my brother and SIL next week)!

I took this week off - unfortunately not to do fun things like watch TV or go shopping.  I'm taking care of some stuff that desperately needed to be done.  Cleaning out my closet, cleaning the oven, and getting started on painting the trim in most of the house.  I'm about halfway done with our LR/DR after two days.  And I've still got the stairwell, upstairs hallway (6 DOORS in there), and two bedrooms upstairs to go.  Blargh.

But there's plenty to be happy about too.

Like presents!  My husband loved the gift card to The Art of Shaving, and I can't wait to see what he picked.  And he seems to like everything from his stocking, even if I have already stolen about half of his Fruit Stripe gum.  Yep, our Christmas Day involved temporary zebra tattoos.  Yours?

I got a really cute cobalt and black houndstooth sweater from my aunt, along with several pairs of really cute tights, and cash from my grandparents.  And all the gifts we picked out seemed to be a big hit, which is always a great feeling!

But Brett really outdid himself in picking my gifts.  I wasn't expecting much because I'm getting my tattoo soon.  But he got me Mindy Kaling's new book (which I finished in two days, so hilarious!), and a really adorable pin I've had my eye on.  It's kind of out there, but I absolutely love it.  It's from, and they're offering 30% off the whole site until Friday night with the code Heygirrrl!

But best of all, he got me a vintage molecule modeling set.  It's so gorgeous - I love the colors and the detail.  I came up with an arrangement I like and have it sitting on the mantel.  But when I figure out what the orange ones are supposed to be, I'm going to make sure it's an actual molecule.  Right now it's just a carbon chain.

I believe he got it on Etsy.  He's looking for a vintage periodic table to have framed to go with it, but he couldn't get it in time for Christmas.  I'm feeling spoiled rotten.

I haven't hit any after Christmas sales yet.  I cleaned out our closet last Thursday, and ended up taking 8 garbage bags (smallish ones though), a couple of boxes, and a huge shopping bag to Goodwill.  So I know I have plenty of great clothes that I kept, and I'm not really in need of anything.  The only thing that I'm thinking about is getting a new handbag with my Christmas cash.  I've been looking at Bluefly, ebay, and a couple of other places.  But if I take the plunge, I think I'm going with something from the Kate Spade sale section.  I may save my cash for Brett's birthday present.  But I do love some of these.

The Essex Scout
This first one is pretty small.  When I expressed my concern over that, my husband said "Not everyone needs to carry a suitcase everywhere they go."  Point taken.

Cobble Hill Penny
Cobble Hill Leslie
Grove Court Blaine
Flicker Melinda
All of these are on sale for roughly $200-250.  I'm looking for a bag in a fun color, and probably smaller than what I'm used to carrying.  If I can't fill it up with things that weigh thirty pounds, that's a bonus.

I hope you guys are getting some great after Christmas sale action!  I would love to grab some shoes, but I was kind of chastened when I pulled all my shoes (minus boots) out of the closet while I was clearing it out, and they pretty much covered our entire bed.

I got rid of like 13 pairs I swear
Yes that's 5 rows of shoes.  Almost 50 pair.  I think this means the J. Crew shoe of the month club is out of the question, even if the price tag wasn't too steep ($1800.  Which I guess is a good value but come on).

We don't have big NYE plans, just to hang out at my brother's house.  But I might wear sequins or glitter anyway.  2011 was an amazing year for us and I think 2012 is going to be even better.

I'll leave you with this, my OOTD.  I guess I threw away my winter painting clothes, so I grabbed an old hoodie and some leggings that are too see through for public consumption.  And promptly got paint all over myself.


That's not an actual tattoo on my foot.  I drew it in Sharpie to get used to it and MAKE SURE I want one there
Hoodie - Old Navy men's (I think), leggings - Gap, flip flops, Old Navy.  At least I didn't get enamel paint in my hair, which is a great success.

Happy New Year everybody!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

OOTD: Flamingos

I loved, loved, loved my outfit today.  Sure, I broke my spending freeze before it started to pick up this skirt from the sale section at Anthro.  But was it worth it?

Yeah, it was.

I felt so cute all day today.  Loved it.

Tee - Gap, skirt - Anthro (Charlotte Taylor), flats - Gianni Bini

Necklace, watch, J. Crew, bracelet - failjewelry on etsy

Today was warm, sunny, and my last day of work for 17 days!  I was looking for fun.

I'm making a long list of things to do in between Christmas and New Years, and traveling to see our families.  One of those things is cleaning out my closet - not just getting rid of stuff, but reorganizing it completely.  It's not at the top of the list, so we'll see if it happens, but I'm hopeful!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lots of sales today!

I don't know, I think today is the cutoff for standard shipping?  For whatever reason, there are tons of sales around today.  Here are a few I haven't ignored in an attempt to keep my wallet closed (which is a FAIL.  More on that later.)

J. Crew - 30% off  any order + free shipping on orders over $100, use the code SNOWMAN.  Also applies to Factory!  This has been going on for a while and is in stores as well.  I got some great deals on Christmas gifts at our store on Friday.

Madewell - 30% off + free shipping on any order, no code required

Anthropologie - extra 50% off sale + free shipping on orders over $100, no code required - also in stores!

Restoration Hardware - 30% off stocking stuffers

Gap - 30% off plus free shipping on orders over $50, use code GAPCHEER

Athleta - Semi-annual sale time - no code required

Old Navy - 20% off plus free shipping on orders over $50, use code ONHURRY20

I'm sure there are more.  But lots of deals to be had today.  I couldn't resist J. Crew, Madewell, and Anthro, but I didn't go crazy.  I have a call in to our local Anthro looking for a bag that I saw in there on Friday.  At just 30% off I resisted, but at 50% I would love to have it.  It's sold out online (I had it in my cart and it sold out before I could check out!), but hopefully they still have it at the store!

Friday, December 16, 2011

OOTD: Colorblocking

This outfit is definitely not winter-ish.  But I woke up at like 4:30 am and it was already 70 out.  It's muggy and warm, so I felt like bright colors were appropriate.  I wore this to work, lunch with a girlfriend, and Christmas shopping.

As a matter of fact, as soon as I stepped outside, I went back in to ditch the jacket.  So here's what I actually look like.

You'd think I wouldn't have dumb photo face in a self portrait!
Tee - Topshop, cropped black jeans - Gap, flats - J. Crew, green denim jacket - Gap

This awkward pose was meant to show off the color blocking on the tee.  The back, sleeves, and neckline are a red-orange knit.  The front is very pink and sort of silky.  They're very different but they blend more in photos.

Ring by Stone and Honey, Bracelet by Topshop, Necklace by Urban Outfitters

I feel very cute today.  Love this outfit, even if I did have to lint roll my pants with post it tape when I got to the office!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dream House

I mentioned in my last post that we're planning to move, hopefully mid-2012.  We've been thinking about this for a while, and we have a very specific list of the things we want.  We're casually keeping an eye on what's out there (and we're only looking in one neighborhood, so that's easy), though nothing serious.

But right now, there is a house on the market that would make such an amazing project.  I would LOVE to get my hands on it.  I know Brett doesn't want to take on this kind of renovation, and there are tons of things that take it out of the running (even if you ignore the price), but I had to share its amazing potential.

First of all, just how gorgeous is this place.  It's an absolute dream.  I could definitely settle in here and never leave.  The trees!

So what are some of the problems?  First the size.  It's 4500 square feet which is way more than I want.  I actually want a smaller house than what we have now (1700 sf), but I think we'll end up with around the same size.  Also, the price.  At $535,000 it would be a great deal if it didn't need a complete renovation.  But it does, so the $120/sq ft is overpriced.

Also, it doesn't have central air.  So you couldn't even move in in our climate until that was taken care of.  Although it does have radiators for heating which I find totally charming.

These stairs would be so beautiful if you pulled up that runner.  Plus, you get a random dangling wire!  Bonus!

I would have to do a complete gut job on the kitchen.  This is not the kitchen for this house.  I'd do painted cabinets and soapstone countertops with a butcherblock island.  And white beveled subway tile to the ceiling.  We're assuming I'm rich enough to pay $535k for a house and THEN do a floor to roof renovation, so that's cool, right?

All I have to say about this is floors, fireplace, moldings, and those doors.  They're stained wood, I think possibly mahogany.

This alone is what makes it my dream house.  A library.  With dark stained bookshelves to the ceiling.  I want it.

Here's another shot of that gorgeous staircase.  Can you imagine growing up here?

And the interior of the entry.  I love the arched door way and the leaded glass.  It also has a screened porch AND a sunroom.  And three bathrooms.  But the bathrooms are kind of a problem.  I actually love the floor in one of them, but I think my husband hates it. 

We have very different style when it comes to bathrooms.  When we were in Amsterdam, we stayed in this gorgeous old hotel with amazing woodwork, huge windows, beautiful wallpaper.  We also had a really cool, modern bathroom.  Now, I liked the bathroom a lot and loved certain elements, but I wouldn't choose it for my home.  Brett loved it, almost 100%.  But the things I loved were his least favorite, and the things I didn't care for were his favorite things about the room.  But we'll figure it out?

Anway, I love this classic green tile.  I wonder if it's original?

The other bathroom is similar, but PINK.  I know I could never convince him to keep that.  And with the wall tile in both bathrooms, I'm not sure I'd want to.

I do love the old wall sinks though, and you know they've got to be built to last.  Overall, I think this house is a true gem.  But I don't think they'll get this price for it, and I don't think it's the one for us.  Hopefully someone will love it as much as I know I would!

Spending Freeze - Sort of?

I attempted a shopping freeze in October, but I didn't make it through the entire month.  I caved and bought two gorgeous pairs of shoes with just a few days to go.  But between all the shopping I've been doing with the holiday sales (for myself, I've barely started Christmas shopping!) and taking a look at our credit card balance after our trip, I'm feeling the need for some cut backs.

I'm making some exceptions, because I know myself.  Obviously, I'll be buying Christmas presents.  I'm getting my tattoo for Christmas from my husband, and I've already picked out his gift.  But we still have to buy for grandparents, parents, cousins, and friends.  I'm also going to give myself a very small shopping budget.  It will be nothing compared to the shameful amount that I spend normally, but I know that if I think I can't get ANYTHING I will want EVERYTHING.

There are some planned home purchases we'll be making in the coming weeks though.  We're waiting until after Christmas, but we're going to be buying lots of gallery frames to hold pictures from our trip, new baking sheets (ours are worn to hell), and possibly new towels.  We agreed that we'll be throwing away like 80% of our ratty, hand me down, fraying towels.  If the amount we have left isn't enough, I want to replace them with something that will last.  Either good quality white towels or Turkish peshtemal, or a mix of both.  I have a thing about dark towels.  I feel like they must be hiding gross mold or something in there.  White is where it's at (plus I can bleach them).

Those are boring purchases, but I'm excited about them.  I love new towels so much.  And we have some West Elm Design Dollars that we've earned, plus a discount code I got for doing market research for them.  We'll probably put that toward the frames.

This will be a challenge for me, and I'll especially need to stay away from  But I know I'll be happier about it in the long run (especially when I get my new house, which is our next savings goal!).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shopping in Europe

Yeah, yeah, I had a fabulous time spending a week in Europe with my husband.  But let's get to the important stuff.  What did I buy?

Who cares about scenery?
Actually, I didn't do as much shopping as I thought I would.  We were just having too much fun relaxing, first of all.  And second of all, I was a little worried about fitting stuff in our suitcases on the way home - which was probably a good thing because I think our big suitcase was technically overweight and the very nice airline check in people looked to other way.

So we did shop at a little store in Amsterdam that had lots of quirky home stuff, stationery, baby things, and tons of other stuff.  We liked a lot in there, but what we ended up bringing home was our real souvenir from the trip, a small white ceramic canal house that we can put a votive in.  It's really cute, and it will remind us of what we thought was so beautiful about this city.

We want to live in one of these houses

We weren't able to find any art that we thought we could get home or that we wanted to ship.  But we took tons of photos and we'll definitely be having some printed.  I'll be doing a shadowbox as well, and I'm going to do some coins in very small frames to arrange somewhere (we got a London Eye coin to mix in, plus we have leftovers).

This horse is all like "What's up?"

Now, for clothes, I went to the huge H&M in Amsterdam, and just didn't find much.  I was so disappointed, honestly.  There was so little I could see myself wearing, and even their basics just felt so low quality.  There were some things that I loved, and would have bought if they were just a bit tweaked.  Like a red fair isle hooded sweater vest with a hood.  If it had sleeves, I would have gotten it.

As it was, all I got was an orange leather braided bracelet for 2 euro.  I thought the orange would be a good reminder of Amsterdam, and honestly it seems to be really good quality for the price.  I did like the look of some of their bags and almost bought a faux fur collar, but my H convinced me I wouldn't wear it.  I think he was probably right.  Since we went to one of the flagship stores, we got a look at the home line.  I can't find pics online, but I really liked a lot about it.  It was really focused on white, casual fabrics, which I loved.  I think it will be really successful!

In London, we found ourselves arriving at the Tower of London a few minutes after the last guided tower had started, so we decided to come back the next day (totally worth it, the tours guided by the Yeoman Warders are fantastic.  And free!), and we trekked over to the west side of town to a big shopping center to visit the Lego Store (we got a wizard keychain for Brett and a set of three build your own minifigs - one toy soldier to honor our locale and two that we just picked to match some of our collection).

At the same shopping center, I stopped in the French Connection when I noticed they were having a big sale.  They're supposedly having the same sale online, but all I got was this bird skull necklace, which I paid 15 pounds for (roughly $23).  So why it's on "sale" for $49 online, I'm not sure.  That's even more than the original price on my tag of 30 pounds.  I've noticed some big discrepancies between UK prices and online US prices at Topshop as well.

Cute, yes.  Worth $50, no.

Ahhh, Topshop.  Brett found a little info guide and let me know this shopping center contained a Topshop, so we hotfooted it right over.  I LOVED it.  Such a great store, and I loved that there was a wide variety of prices.  The wall of tights was incredible - so many colors and patterns.  Honestly, I would have bought way more if I'd had room for it, but I was worrying about packing space at this point.

So here's what I bought.  This cream sweater with a black beaded motif, for 50 pounds.  Sorry for the crappy picture.  I loved this when I saw it, plus it's insanely soft and not too heavy.  I think it will look great layered with another shirt underneath.

These sleeves look super long, but it's just kind of short, not belly baring, but not the long shirts I'm used to.
I also got a tee shirt that's knit on the back and a silk type material on the front (although I seriously doubt it was silk for the price I paid, I think 18 pounds).  It's hot pink and orange, with a little pocket on the chest, and a great sillhouette.

I also got this pig cuff bracelet.  Again, I didn't pay this much but I don't remember exactly what I did pay, closer to 15 pounds/20 bucks.  I also got a snake wrap bracelet for around the same price point that I can't find online.  And I got a pair of opaque tights in a gorgeous mustard color.  I'll take pics of all the items when I wear them.

Now, here's what I strongly considered but didn't buy.  This t-rex print sweatshirt in gray was so adorable, and a great price, but they didn't have it in my size.  I also seriously considered this fox sweater, and part of me still really loves it, but the other part is happy that I left it on another continent.  I also loved their jeans, they offered them in fabulous colors.  But I wasn't sure about the sizing and I had a husband waiting for me so I knew it wasn't the time for jean shopping.

What I loved, wanted, would have bought if I'd had unlimited suitcase space of course included a pair of shoes.  I saw so many girls wearing brogues or ankle boots with slouchy socks over tights, leggings, or skinny jeans.  It was so cute.  Now this is a look that I'm unsure about on myself.  I'm very happy with my feet and ankles, okay with my calves.  But I'm afraid this could take away a lot of the shape in my legs.  Honestly though, jeans do that anyway.  So it's something I want to try.

These (I think they're the ones I was looking at) were exactly what I was looking for, but the pic online doesn't show how great they looked in person.  They were slightly distressed and the leather looked great.  They're about $20 higher on the US website, so I'll have to decide if that's worth it.

I also loved, loved, loved this navy leather satchel, but I know it didn't cost nearly that much at the store.  I remember doing a quick conversion and thinking it was just over $100.  I also loved this navy and cream leather bag at a little lower price point (roughly $60 in store, 38 pounds).  I would have bought one of them if I thought I had room.  And in hindsight, I could have moved things around, worn my heavier shoes on the plane and made it work.  But I just didn't want to deal with it at that moment.

I wish the price discrepancy wasn't so big, but I'm sure there are costs for them associated with selling in the US.  There are definitely some things I think are worth it.  I think soon enough I'll be making an order for a bag (not sure which one yet), the brogues, a pair of jeans, and a pair of velvet slippers, among other items.  I'm really glad I got to try it out, get an idea of sizing, and have a great time shopping!

Monday, December 5, 2011

We're in love

Brett and I are leaving Amsterdam tomorrow and we've fallen in love with the city. I'm completely obsessed with the canal houses, especially the black ones. Brett loves all the architecture that comes with it being an old city-brick streets, the arched bridges. It's all so gorgeous. Plus, there are so many great shops filled with products that show great design. If we weren't limited on space, we would have some new lighting! And there are so many amazing, adorable baby and children's products here. It's a good thing we don't have one yet, but I've been tempted anyway!

We're sad that tomorrow is our last day in the city, and we've really enjoyed our time here. But we're also excited to see London tomorrow night!

I'm posting from my phone, so the only picture I have is the view from our hotel room. Our hotel is amazing too! I'll post tons of pictures when I get back.

I've honestly not been all that impressed by the clothing yet. We went to the flagship H&M, and all I bought was a little orange braided leather bracelet. I wasn't even tempted to try anything on.

I'm definitely more looking forward to London shopping. I think it will be super fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I want

A string bracelet with a single skull charm on it.

$12 Australian dollars (which is almost equal to $12 American dollars) from Wanderlust.  Plus they have flat rate international shipping ($8 AUS).  Or FREE if you spend $50.  Which is easy to do because there are about 900 things I want.

Side note:  I really thought I bought a similar bracelet with a bow on it from Anthro on sale on black Friday.  I guess I didn't.  I seem to do this fairly often, but I guess it's better than buying things and forgetting about them, no?

Site found via the Man Repeller.  Who has not one, but TWO of these guys.

Sale Alert: Kate Spade and Jack Spade

Gilt Groupe is having a big sale on all divisions of Kate Spade today - from handbags to housewares.  Jack Spade is thrown in as well.  It looks like a lot of items from last weekend's sample sale are available, with some additional things as well.

My big lust item from Kate Spade is on the site, the Westward Curiosities Satchel.  It's the lowest price I've seen at $469 but already waitlisted.  It is still available in navy.

I'm obsessed with this lining

The green Jack Spade bag I posted yesterday was also for sale (same price as the Jack Spade site though), but it's already sold out.  They have some other really great bags, gloves, etc. in the Jack Spade section though.

They also have some nice prices on wallets for Christmas gifts, and tights for any hosiery addicts.  There is some well priced June Lane stuff in the housewares section for anyone with that china pattern.  Also, definitely check out the home section for stationery.  I love these Christmas cards for $30.

Enjoy!  We're leaving tomorrow afternoon on our trip, so I'm finishing up our to do list and trying to wrap things up at work.  And trying not to freak out about the fact that I'm only bringing two pairs of shoes.