pretty little things

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Six pieces I’m currently coveting:

This Eliza Ring is pricey [$480] but I love the sentimental simplicity. So delicate and pretty. This would make a sweet gift for a very special occasion.

Apparently I have expensive taste today because this $398  Seafoam Double Strand necklace from Anthropolgie is also decidedly over the budget here at {navy + cream}, but I love the colors so much!

You may recall this necklace I bought from the Chicago boutique Mint Julep [for $60], as mentioned in this post:

Well… look what I found for a tenth of the price at Forever 21 [$9.80]:

Can you believe it? Given that I wear the Mint Julep one on a weekly basis [with jeans + a tee , a casual black dress, a cocktail dress, + so on], I think it’s only fitting I add this wallet-friendly statement piece to my jewelry box.

Digging the antique look to this braided necklace from Ann Taylor [$58].

This gold Modcloth bracelet [$49] will help you line your ducks in a row .

Fred Flare ‘forget me knot’ ring [$58]

 

 

 

 

 

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[special delivery from my valentine]

{I was half in love with her by the time we sat down. That’s the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they’re not much to look at, or even if they’re sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are.}

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

{Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.}

Michael Leunig

Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Love is in the air and, given the barrage of red and pink that’s taken over your local drug store, it’s no secret that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Some people take the jaded route and scoff at the day, writing it off as a cunning Hallmark scheme, but I’ve always had an unabashed love for the holiday. I love it for the obvious reasons: a sweet card [not always from Hallmark], beautiful flowers, and a romantic dinner with my main squeeze ~ but it doesn’t stop there. My parents always showered us with love on Valentine’s Day and gave us a little something to make the day special [usually a book and candy]. They taught us that it was a day to show your appreciation for the ones you love, be it your family, friends, or significant other. To me it’s a day to be happy and celebrate all the different kinds of love you have in your life.

These are some pretty things that have Valentine’s Day written all over them.

1. Steve Madden Partyy Pump in Fuchsia [$89.95] *helloo date night

2. Ark & Co Elegant Pearl Cocktail Dress [$58] *the pearl details and peak-a-boo back are exquisite

3. Lancôme Juicy Tubes Lip Gloss Set [$29.50] *the original lip gloss

4. Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in Ruby Red Slippers [$18] *va~voom!

5. Michael Kors Watch in Rose Gold [$250] *exudes a strong + feminine air

6. Halston Heritage Deep V Cocktail Dress [$325] *effortless style

7. Schwartz Marshmallow Heart ~ Vanilla with Caramel Bottom [$67.50] *my cousin who lives in New York bought these once for my mom and dad – oh.my.gosh… although the price tag seems steep these are the most delicious, mouth-watering treats + are perfect for a special occasion. my mom got me a box last year for valentine’s day and i about died when i opened the box. {yummmm}

8. Prada Satin Wristlet [$360] *prada is pretty in pink

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Now that the fun parts of winter {family-filled Christmas + lively New Year’s parties} have passed us by at whirlwind speeds, we’re left with a resounding….

“Well now what?”

Let’s face it, when the temperature takes a nosedive it’s all-too-easy for your spirits to plummet right down with it. Although the winter can be downright demoralizing, I’ll admit that it can be kind of nice too. There’s just something to be said for a cozy winter night by a crackling fire, mug of hot cocoa in hand {extra marshmallows please}, with the falling snow and good conversation to keep you company.

We winterize our cars with snow tires and antifreeze, so why not winterize us? Here are a five ways to help you fend off the winter funk and keep you smiling ’til spring.

1. Walking around with a chapped mug is a buzz kill any time of year. Keep your lips moisturized with a balm that is light and has a heavenly scent, like this C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve [$5.50].  My aunt got me some just in time to replace the one I’d had for three years {as seen here}.

2. Dash through the snow in style this winter with some fancy footwear, like these haute Burberry Winter Boots [$295]

3. This one may seem like a no-brainer but exercise truly makes a difference in elevating your mood and revitalizing your spirits. In case you’re snowed in, keep a jump rope [$9.99] handy so you never have an excuse to miss a heart-pumping cardio session.

4. Adopt a low-maintenance skin care regimen that will keep your skin radiant all winter long. I really like Bio-Oil [$16], it’s a hot-seller overseas and just recently became available in the US. The Australian based product contains PurCellin Oil which improves the appearance of scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, aging and dehydrated skin. While we know there’s no such thing as a miracle in a bottle, this stuff is pretty close.

5. Manicures only last a week at the most, besides, why trudge out in this weather when you don’t have to? Cuticle oil, a nail buffer, and a shiny clear topcoat will make your DIY mani look {nearly} professional. I layered Urban Outfitters navy polish with glitter* to lighten things up, plus every time I glance down at my sparkly digits I can’t help but feel happy. Tip: if going for a dark polish, keep nails short and square to keep them neat & chic instead of goth-gone-bad.

*unfortunately neither of these polishes are available online. i purchased them as part of a 10-piece mini polish gift set for $20 from the urban outfitters at clark + diversey [chicago].


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Experts are saying 2011 is finally the year America will experience an economic revival and once again have a healthy, robust economy.  Until then, it’s a budget-savvy babe’s duty to see where her hard-earned green is going. Plus, this is the time of year when retailer’s slash prices the most, which means everyone from Gucci to Gap is offering goods at low, low prices. Here are some of my “cents-ible” picks [wink] that will save you some serious dough.

1. Calvin Klein Funnel Collar Double Breasted Coat [$380 $189.99]

2. New Balance for Nine West Cyber [$89 $62.30]

3. Banana Republic Beardsley Ring [$49.50 $24.99]

4. Gucci Driving Gloves [$370 $247]

5. Bird by Juicy Couture High Waisted Shorts [$258 $77.40]

6. Halston Clutch [$245 $121.90]

7. J.Crew Metallic Suede MacAlister Boots [$145 $79.99]

8. Ann Taylor Silk Scoop Neck Dress [$215 $89.88]

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As much as I love living in the heart of a bustling metropolis like Chicago, the winter certainly takes it’s toll. Like most of my urban compadres, I walk or take public trans pretty much everywhere – to the gym, the grocery store, bars, restaurants, you name it. This lifestyle, although frugal and incidentally eco-friendly, is an absolute pain in the kaboose come wintertime.

A born-and-bred Midwesterner, I’ve long since learned to embrace the subzero temperatures and face the frost head on. Here are some of my favorite picks for the winter goddess in all of us.

1. Anthropologie Cassonade Coat [$198]

2. Fred Flare Puffy Convertible Jacket [$86]

3. Patagonia Mabel Hat [$39]

4. Coach Rabbit Mittens [$298]

5. Betsey Johnson Snow Angel Earrings [$31]

6. Topshop Knitted Zigzag Sequin Jumper in Cream [$110]

7. Burberry Earmuffs [$175]

8. AG Stevie Cords [$158]

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This season *glamorous glitter + shimmering sequins* have been popping up everywhere! From the runway of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to nail polish to cocktail dresses, glitz is here for the holidays. It’s a festive, fun, and whimsical way to add flair to your wardrobe this season, and I for one am a big big fan.

1. Forever 21 Silver nail polish [$2.50 - a steal!]

2. Charlotte Russe Matte Sequin Mini [$32.50]

3. J.Crew Gem-laden Clutch [$98]

4. Literature Noir Sequin Romper [$286]

5. Akira 1/2 Sleeve Sequin Dress [$109.90]

6. Sperry Topsider Bahama Holiday [$75.50]

7. Topshop Gunmetal Sequin Shorts [$90]

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Why am I already thinking about St. Patrick’s Day? I’m not so sure but I saw this Irish Fishermen cardi on sale [for $29.99] at Urban Outfitters the other day and thought it would be perfect for gallivanting around on St. Patty’s. Can’t you picture wearing it with a kelly green tee peaking out from underneath? Okay I’ll stop talking about St. Patrick’s Day seeing as how it’s November, but while we’re on the subject, I’m a firm believer that a girl can never have too many cardigans. They’re so versatile and instantly cozy up any outfit. Here are some that go beyond the basics:

1. Modcloth Hard Rain Cardigan [$57.99] This typically sweet silhouette gets toughened up with some silver studs.

2. American Eagle Cable Knit Wrap Cardigan in Birch Heather [$89.90] This sweater is essentially a blanket that is socially acceptable to wear out in public. Sign me up.

3. J.Crew Merino Sequined Crochet Cardigan in gold [$148] No list of mine would be complete without something from J.Crew. This mustard-gold shade oozes sophistication.

4. Anthropologie Bright Specs Cardi [$98] Feminine frills make this cardi pop.

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[the photograph online {left} versus how they look in person {right}]

I’ve been keeping tabs these sky high black booties by Steve Madden from Piperlime for the past month or so and my patience has paid off because they just went on sale, heck yes. They look trés vampy in the pic but I swear they’re more sophisticated vixen than sultry streetwalker. The sole isn’t quite so shiny as it is in the photograph and the material contrasts against the suede nicely. I’m so excited to wear them this weekend, I have a couple ideas brewing… booties are so versatile, they’re my favorite trend goin right now.

Just a few ideas:

1. Urban Outfitters Silence & Noise Boyfriend Blazer $78

2. Forever 21 Fab Racerback Tank $3.50

3. J.Crew Sequin Mesh Ball Skirt $128

4. J.Crew Couplet Shimmer Dress $198

5. Forever 21 Silk Bow Dress $26.90

6. Trina Turk Marl Cardigan $138.99

7. James Jeans Twiggy Five Pocket Legging $89.99

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[urban outfitters pendleton plaid weekender bag, $198]

Pretty luggage makes traveling so much more fun, don’t you think? With the holidays just around the corner, people are traveling now more than any other time of the year to reunite with loved ones. This season make a statement with your suitcase and sport one with an eye-catching print and luxe details. In the spirit of stylish jetsetting, here are a few pieces of luggage that I’d happily cart on any plane, train, or automobile.

[diane von furstenberg city bag, orig. $200, now $79.970]

[fred perry weekend bag, $94]

[cole haan wythe aviator duffel, $476]


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